Find killer bar food and creative cocktails up at this Thai-inspired Scott Pickett joint.
If you believed the hype, Longsong was on track to being one of the year's best new bars long before it opened in 2017. Venture in to experience the final product (sitting above Longrain) and you'll be hard-pressed to disagree.
Once a horse stable, the lofty space that greets you at the top of the stairs is downright impressive. A central bar cuts the sprawling room neatly in two — a 30-seat dining area by the open kitchen and a sun-drenched lounge situation in front, with banquette seating and huge folding windows overlooking Little Bourke Street.
The styling is contemporary, with timber cladding, arty resin-topped tables and a ceiling hung with Chinese lanterns lending just the right amount of funk.
The kitchen offering is a celebration of simplicity — unfussy, but cleverly executed and more affordable than you might expect. Nab a table in the restaurant section to experience the full dining menu. It's a share-friendly lineup (much like the downstairs Longrain restaurant), made up of small and large dishes that each come with recommendations for cocktail or beer pairings.
Try the prawn toast made with buttery brioche bread, pairing it with one of the team's gin-based cocktails (cutting the richness of the dish). Or order a Bodriggy pilsner to go with your sticky pork skewers.
The beef tartare with shiitake mushroom crackers is also a big win — bursting with umami goodness that best be enjoyed with an earthy bloody mary.
The drinks situation proves just as tempting, whether you're in for a feed or not. Alongside an all-Victorian lineup of craft beer and a mostly Aussie selection of wines by the glass, there's a decent collection of cocktails.
Longsong does the classics very well, but we are all about those that have received a Thai twist. Take the clarified Thai milk tea tipple. It's like your usual clarified milk punch, but with condensed coconut milk, rum, chocolate and lime. It's sweet and creamy, but totally clear. It will mess with your head a little.
The Tim Yum is another big win. This bev comes with tequila, tom yum spices, ginger, tomato, Amaro Nonino and orange. There's a lot going on within one glass, but this savoury delight exemplifies what is so special about Longsong. The offerings are creative and complex without losing the most important element — they all taste damn good.
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