Paint the town red with Tamarind Springs.

Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio: Mogwai live in Malaysia, Jan 21, AND Singapore, Jan 23.


Like how ying is to yang, Tamarind Springs burns fiery red, as long as the calming water flows in Il Tempio. Located just upstairs of the Contemporary Italian restaurant, Tamarind Springs bears the same concept of temple-inspired designs and Zen Buddha statues complementing the peaceful tropical jungle surrounding the restaurant.

Although the Indochinese restaurant has been around for only five years, it already has a firm customer base of expatriates, foreigners and locals visiting on a regular basis. Not only that, Tamarind Springs has also won a world-renowned accolade as one of 2008 Relais & Chataeux’s finest restaurants and hotels around the world, sharing the spotlight with France’s Les Deux Abbesses and Switzerland’s Les Sources des Alpes.

Welcome drinks: Tamarind Juice.

Steamed fish cakes, grilled cinnamon-chicken mousse sticks, grilled duck rice paper wraps, and grilled lemongrass prawns.

Diners at Tamarind Springs are treated with welcome drinks – a choice between the refreshing infused Lemongrass Juice and the sourish Tamarind Juice – before delving into the multi-cultural platter of appetisers: Steamed fish cakes, Grilled cinnamon-chicken mousse sticks, Grilled duck rice paper wraps and Grilled lemongrass prawns, all accompanied by their own kind of spicy dip.

Raw Salmon salad in a spicy Laotian house dressing.

Raw Salmon salad in a spicy Laotian house dressing.

Up next is the Grand Chef’s own creation: the Raw Salmon salad, soaked in a spicy Laotian house dressing. To balance up the sweetness of the salmon meat is the spicy and sour dressing.

Tom Sep: Laotian style Tom Yam with grilled catfish.

And also on the menu is Tom Sep, a Laotian-style tom yam with grilled catfish. This dish is a favourite amongst the regulars visiting Tamarind Springs. It is not too sour till your eyes and tongue squeeze for mercy, nor too spicy that it had you reaching for the water after every mouthful. The catfish is also grilled to a tender softness that goes well with the soup; an optimum dish to enjoy especially during colder weather.

Following up are the main courses, accompanied with a bowl of aromatic Jasmine steamed rice.

Steamed snake-head fish roll crisps.

Steamed snake-head fish roll crisps.

The Steamed Snake-Head Fish Roll Crisps come with the craziest chilli sauce ever tasted. With a combination of garlic, coriander, lime and chilli, diners may not feel anything at first, but the spiciness gradually creeps up on you and before you know it, the sour lime and the spicy chill is squeezing your tongue till your mouth starts to water.

Laotian BBQ beef with dried red chilli dip.

Laotian BBQ beef with dried red chilli dip.

The Laotian BBQ Beef is accommodated with a dried red chilli dip, which offers another kind of explosion on the taste palette. Instead of a postponed hit, the dried chilli dip comes in full force upon contact, with tiny simultaneous fireworks going off in your mouth that throws your senses all over the place. The dip balances up with the dry BBQ beef, cooked the way like most Laotian dishes are supposed to.

Jungle ferns with grilled Laotian green chilli dip.

Jungle ferns with grilled Laotian green chilli dip.

Also on the main course menu is the Jungle Ferns, deep-fried ala the Japanese tempura style till it is thinly crispy. Accompanying the vegetable dish is the grilled Laotian green chilli dip.

Lemongrass chocolate mousse.

Lemongrass chocolate mousse.

Last on the list is the dessert – Lemongrass Chocolate Mousse, going along with your choice of freshly brewed coffee or flavoured tea. The abundant chocolate mousse comes with a drizzling of citrus that makes the taste lighter on the tongue, like wings for a heavy beast. There is also a tinge of lemongrass aftertaste just before the swallow, creating a refreshing palette reset as you call it a day for your meal.

Compared to Il Tempio, Tamarind Springs is not exactly a favourite of mine; probably because I am not too hot on spicy food, and I’d much prefer blue over red. At one point of the meal, I found myself forcing myself to take a breather as all the spicy dishes were giving me a mental meltdown. Heh. I even got myself a sore throat the very next day.

I suppose that is why diners usually take approximately two to three hours to finish the entire meal, slowing things down for the palette to regain consciousness before hopping onto another round on the gastronomic roller coaster.

So, if you are up for a culinary drenaline rush, Tamarind Springs is the place to go for that challenge. Just make sure to cool yourself down from time to time amidst this hot weather.

The abovementioned menu is set for the 2008 Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF), priced at RM275nett per person, inclusive of wine.

Tamarind Springs
Jalan 1
Taman Tunku Abdul Razak
68000 Ampang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
T: +6 03 4256 9300


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3 Responses to “Paint the town red with Tamarind Springs.”

  1. The view atop the Tamarind Hill « Small Time Traveller Says:

    […] the child spawn of the more recluse parents in the Tunku Abdul Razak Park in Ampang, Il Tempio and Tamarind Springs. From the moment you step into the restaurant to the moment your meals are served in front of you, […]

  2. drule Says:

    i want celebrate my husband birthday..i want candle light dinner..may i know budget for candle light dinner for me n my hubby?

    • Celeste Says:

      you can ring up the restaurant at the contact number provided to find out the budget for a candlelit dinner for you and your hubby.

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