Monday, May 28, 2012

Longrain @ Melbourne, CBD

Part of the Melbourne dining scene is all about trend eating and that means eating at the hottest and "in" restaurants in town. However that also means ridiculous queues or an impossible task to get a booking without weeks in advance. So for people like me, it means eating "the last season cuisine" or "the last "in" restaurant". 


After opening doors since 2005, Longrain probably doesn't get as much mention as Chin Chin. Both serve similar cuisine but Longrain goes about doing its own thing. After reading recent promising reviews, we made a booking (bonus points for allowing reservations). 


This was a long time ago but we were obviously celebrating something like the Wife finally starting work or passing the first month by stepping foot in the dark and mysterious restaurant. 


We were early so we had to sip on some Asian inspired cocktails which used lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. Really potent but hurts your wallet a fair bit since a glass is in the 20-25 dollar range. 

  IMG_2239

One thing I also noticed is that Longrain is all about the communal seating arrangement. There is a really long table that can sit about 40-50 people and you sit randomly side by side (if you are a couple). I think sitting side by side is brilliant because you are closer to the person and it makes it easier to chat. Without having to shout across, the noise level with a pretty full crowd was surprisingly bearable. 

IMG_2242


The menu is compact or limited in some sense. No more than 5 choices for entree, mains and desserts, it makes it easier to choose what you really want to eat. 


For us it was easy, deep fried pork hock pieces with a sweet and spicy dressing. Crispy on the outside but maybe could have been a tad more succulent inside. The dressing was faultless.


IMG_2243


Slow cooked massaman beef curry. Another brilliant dish. However we thought it the portion was small for the price tag of almost 40 dollars. 


Served with white rice and we were a happy couple that night. 

IMG_2246


Dessert was a combination of sticky black rice, custard apple and coconut cream. The Wife was sitting on the fence over this one although I loved it.


IMG_2247


What was slightly disappointing was the palm sugar ice-cream. It lacked the fragrance of palm sugar and considering all we had was good that night, this was probably not the best way to end the meal.


I don't know if I really get the whole hype of South East Asian cuisine done with a twist or the Australian take on it but admittedly what we had that night was pretty good despite the above average pricing of $60 per pax. 


Address and contact details:


Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon


Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Cool dark ambience, communal seating and hip thai food, whether you like this concept or not, its rather subjective, what do you think?

8 comments:

Sean said...

phew, thank goodness there aren't any restaurants in KL that require bookings several weeks in advance :D

Michelle Chin said...

getting a table here is plain difficult. :( i remember that process

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: difficult to longrain or just general? i admit to "famous" places, its hard to do an impromptu visit

sean: i know! well maybe the bz chinese restaurants on weekends.

Agnes said...

I've only eaten at Longrain once - I remember liking it but for some reason have never been back, possibly because I thought it was a bit too expensive. The food was really good though.

Eunice said...

I love dark ambience...it's better if they would play some jazzy , toe-tapping rhythm song along with my good food...I dont mind paying for such a price! ;)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eunice: well there was some sort of background music (i cant remember clearly though)

agnes: yeah expensive is a subjective thing but I think to most, this place is on the pricey end of most meals.

Joana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.