Dine on modern Thai dishes within an impeccably restored horse stable.
June 17, 2023
Longrain has still got it. After serving up contemporary Thai eats on Little Bourke Street for over 15 years, it really hasn't lost its shine. If anything, this beloved Thai restaurant has only risen up the ranks in the city's dining scene ever since Scott Picket (founder of Estelle, Matilda and Pastore) took over in late 2020.
He didn't change much, keeping the same team in place and only tweaking small parts of the menu. Longrain's original formula always worked — it was Covid and leasing issues that led the original owners to step back from the business.
These days, you'll still dine within the converted horse stables in the downstairs dining room and grab drinks upstairs in the huge bar, Longsong.
Food wise, big flavours and generous portions of classic Thai dishes (that have been given a slightly glammed-up twist) remain as well. The team isn't reinventing the wheel here. They're simply serving up some their favourite dishes from regions across Thailand.
There is also a big focus on sharing. Grab a bunch of plates from the a la carte menu, setting yourselves up for a feast, or opt for the banquet option.
For Longrain's banquet, you'll get roughly nine dishes (varying in size) for $89 per person. The menu changes relatively regularly, but you can expect the likes of fresh oysters in a roasted red chilli nahm jim, scallops with shrimp floss (served in a edible betel leaf) as well as bloody good caramelised pork belly. This bad boy has it all going on — being sweet, sticky, fatty, crunchy and tender all at the same time.
From the a la carte menu, the yum kao tod is also a standout. Crispy rice, pork mince, ginger, mint, coriander, chilli and peanuts are all mixed together in this flavour bomb of a dish. Scoop it all up with a salad leaf, squeeze on a generous amount of lime and make a proper mess of it all.
We also highly recommend getting around the dessert tasting option. The team will deliver an assortment of five different sweet treats to the table on a big lazy susan. Spin it around the table with your mates, scooping up a few bites of each dish. It will always change, but you can expect some housemade sorbet and gelato (with Thai flavours) as well as a few more intricate desserts that'll certainly impress.
Pair the whole experience with some great vinos that have been chosen to complement the vibrant Thai food and your set for a great night out. There is no official wine pairing, but the waiters will gladly recommend a few of their favourite drops by the glass so you can taste your way through the impressive offerings.
While Melbourne's Longrain is a somewhat of a fine diner, you are encouraged to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. It does an excellent job of striking the balance between being fancy and refined while still being laidback and fun.
Top image: Eugene Hyland
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