David Thompson fell in love with Thailand – it’s food, people and culture – on a holiday to Bangkok in the mid-’80s. Never one to do things by halves he set out to learn all he could about it, including mastering the language. On an early trip to Bangkok, he apprenticed himself to an octogenarian cook who had learned her craft in the royal palace. He says: “Khun Sombat had exacting culinary standards, everything was made by hand, her cooking was instinctive and spontaneous, relying upon taste and smell, not slavish adherence to measurements – and she completely transformed my understanding of Thai cuisine.”
By the early ’90s, in a pub bistro on Darley St Newtown, David started cooking Thai food unlike anything Sydney had ever tasted. He continued Australia’s culinary education moving Darley Street Thai to Kings Cross and opening the more casual Sailors Thai in The Rocks.
Since 2001 he’s taken his cooking to the world with Nahm in London (the first Thai restaurant to ever receive a Michelin star) and Bangkok, also Michelin-starred and named Asia’s Best Restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. David’s dedication to Thai cuisine was acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia’s 50 Best in 2016.
Today David oversees restaurants around the world, including Long Chim Sydney and Perth, Aaharn in Hong Kong, Aksorn in Bangkok and Long Dtai in Koh Samui.
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I was intrigued by it's nebulous, contrary nature, indeed by the unpredictability of Thai food and the Thai people in general.
Long Chim brings the best of modern Bangkok to Sydney (and Perth). It's authentic Thai food in a casual setting to enjoy with friends. Our maa long chim (come, try and taste) menu is the best way to experience a traditional Thai meal.
Aksorn is in an historic building and the menu is based on the food of 1950s Bangkok, some dishes rarely seen these days. I feel it's important to preserve them so that the young Thais don't lose touch with their heritage.
After many years research we've developed a retort method that means we can make traditional curry pastes from organic produce, mixed with fresh coconut cream and seasoned with good local palm sugar and fish sauce that we can ship to all our restaurants. It guarantees consistency and overcomes the problem of sourcing authentic Thai produce outside of Thailand.