Melbourne Favourite Longrain Is Being Revived by Chef-Restaurateur Scott Pickett
The van Haandel's long-running restaurant will reopen under new ownership later this year.
Melbourne's hospitality lockdown looked set to claim one of its biggest victims yet, when John and Lisa Van Haandel announced in May that their 15-year-old restaurant Longrain would not be returning post-COVID. That is, until fellow star restaurateur Scott Pickett phoned them up to throw his hat into the ring.
Pickett, the chef-owner behind such favourites as Estelle, Matilda, Lupo and Chadstone's Pastore, will now take the reins at the Southeast Asian diner. And he'll be sticking with Longrain's tried-and-true formula, with plans to keep things operating much the same as before, from the food right through to the crew.
"It's a wonderful brand and venue, and I didn't want to see that disappear," Pickett said in a statement. "I am stoked that the team is staying on and we can continue this iconic Melbourne venue. Longrain 2.0, I call it."
While Pickett steps in as overseer, Chef Arté Assavakavinvong will continue heading up the kitchen he's called home for the past six years. Expect to see familiar faces cooking up signature Longrain favourites, which will star alongside a few new Thai-inspired creations — and perhaps a whisper of Pickett flair worked through the menu and produce list.
The Van Haandels are backing the new owner and his plans, saying, "we pass the baton confident our baby is in good hands."
As for sibling venue Longsong, which sits above the Little Bourke Street space, it'll kick on as an extra Longrain dining room while the pandemic does its thing, offering both a $65 and $95 banquet menu. The upstairs venue is then set to make its own return later in the year.
The initial plan was to reopen Longrain 2.0 on Wednesday, July 29, but those plans have been put on hold with all of metropolitan Melbourne going into lockdown until at least Thursday, August 20. We'll let you know when a new date is announced.
Longrain is set to reopen at 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne later this year.
Images: Tim Grey
Published on July 09, 2020 by Libby Curran