Monday, 8 July 2013


44 Little Bourke St 
Melbourne, VIC 

What justifies a special meal out? For me, it usually has to be some big event, but occasionally there are days where I just need a little pampering and something a bit more luxurious. So after the stress of a really, really big job interview and an entire day of exam study, I decided that I wanted to my stomach to be full of modern Thai food from Longrain that night. 

The moment Longrain opens its doors at 5:30pm, the people just pour and pour and pour in, until the large communal tables are crammed to the brim. As a party of two, we were given the option of sitting at the huge banquet table, or along the marble bar. And why would I turn down the opportunity of watching the bartenders mix, crush and shake their way to hundreds of gorgeous looking cocktails?

Caramelised Pork Hock, Five Spice, Chilli Vinegar/Ping Pong

I had actually made a small visit to Longrain earlier in the year for the Bar Express offered during the Food and Wine Festival. The Caramelised Pork Hock, Five Spice, Chilli Vinegar we had then was delicious, as was the Ping Pong (Lychees and Passionfruit with Citrus Vodka and Lychee Liqueur, balanced with Fresh Lime Juice), thus paving the way to my return visit.

Salt and Pepper Silken Tofu, Fried Eschalots, Sweet Soy ($16)

I can never pass up a good plate of Salt and Pepper Silken Tofu, Fried Eschalots, Sweet Soy ($16), and this was the best I’ve ever had without leaving the country. The tofu was so silken that it was the consistency of thick custard, and the exterior was tempura-light and magically crisp. It didn’t need anything other than the small jug of sweet soy to give it flavour – the crunch-and-melt texture itself was enough to make the dish. 

Slow Cooked Yellow Curry of Bultarra Saltbush Lamb with Kipfler Potatoes ($39)

We were starving that night (I was so hungry that I ate way too quickly and had a stomach ache for 40 minutes afterwards and had to sit on the toilet floor just in case the food made a reappearance, followed by 4 antacids), and we cut straight to the chase by ordering the Slow Cooked Yellow Curry of Bultarra Saltbush Lamb with Kipfler Potatoes ($39) to soak our Jasmine Rice ($3pp) with. This was delicious. On first taste the curry was a comforting mix of sweet and creamy, but the flavours soon expanded to show a surprising depth, and just a little chilli for personality. The lamb was unctuously tender, and the richness was balanced out most deliciously when mixed with the sour green relish of onion and Asian herbs.

I am kicking myself for not having visited Longrain sooner. Our meal didn’t blow us away with inventiveness or new flavours, but it was probably the most delicious meal I’ve had for quite some time. And whilst the prices may look steep, the portions are very generous and you can easily get by on about $30pp. That’s if you don’t indulge in their myriad of Asian-inspired cocktails; and let me tell you, I was sorely tempted.

Rating: 15.5/20 – me love you longrain.  

This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. And the number of sultanas in the trail mix I’m eating now. 

Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon

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