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FOOD & DRINK

The New Scott Pickett-Led Iteration of Longrain Will (Finally) Open Next Month

Complete with a fresh look and reworked menu, meshing old with new.
By Libby Curran
October 22, 2020
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By Libby Curran
October 22, 2020
  shares

Melbourne's food scene breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier this year when renowned chef Scott Pickett stepped in to save dining institution Longrain from closure. Former owners John and Lisa Van Haandel announced they'd be forced to shut the 15-year-old restaurant as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, when Pickett offered to take the reins and steer it into a new era. But we were barely given an expected relaunch date before Melbourne sank back into lockdown, closing down the hospitality industry once more.

Now, as restrictions ease and venues gear up to reopen to dine-in customers from Monday, November 2, Longrain 2.0 will finally get its much-anticipated debut. Joining the likes of Estelle and Lupo in the Pickett & Co stable, the Chinatown restaurant is set to launch with a bang on Wednesday, November 4, showing off both a new look and a refreshed menu offering.

With six years already under his belt as the venue's Head Chef, Arté Assavakavinvong will continue heading up the kitchen, his team delivering a menu of Longrain classics and new additions. Return favourites will include the likes of the caramelised pork hock with five spice and chilli vinegar, and the smash-hit green papaya salad, while dishes like a kangaroo red curry and bean curd-wrapped Moreton Bay bug cakes head up a cast of intriguing newcomers. You'll also be able to choose from two new banquet options: the $75 Longrain Signature lineup and the Royal Banquet for $95.

Tim Grey

In the same vein as the menu, the fit-out aims to pay homage to its roots, while embracing a few considered modern touches. See Adnate's tiger mural offset by a newly charged palette of green tones, while custom tableware by Adceramics artist Andrei Davidoff brings new nuances to the vibrant dishes.

There's been change afoot upstairs, too. Formerly a separate venue, Longsong has been reimagined as an extension of its downstairs sibling, its entrance staircase illuminated by a striking new work from acclaimed light designer Alex Earl. Up here in The Loft, the drinks will play star of the show, backed by resident DJs, projections and a street food offering harnessing the same flavours as the restaurant below.

Longrain will reopen from November 4, at 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. It's open for 5–11pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Published on October 22, 2020 by Libby Curran

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