Freshly Shucked Oyster, Red Chilli, Lime Juice, Crisp Eschalots
My friend Audy just turned a year older and we celebrated at Longrain Melbourne for a night to remember. He booked a banquet meal for all 16 of us and we were separated on two tables. Longrain Melbourne is a direct competitor to Chin Chin, as both concentrates on serving Thai fusion cuisine. Comparably, even though they are classified under the same subcategory, both have completely different items on the menu. Chefs who are creative and like to twist and turn recipes are admirable and these two restaurants did just that. Its not easy to find good Thai fusion restaurants in Melbourne, but rest assured that Longrain Melbourne is pretty well known and acclaimed.
The very first appetizer was sea oysters served with red chilli as a substitute for tabasco. I am not a fan of oysters hence I did not try one, but the others said it was fresh, just albeit sandy in one or two.
Caramelised Pork, Prawn, Peanuts, Sour Pineapple
As a replacement to oyster, I ate the Caramelised Pork, Prawn, Peanuts and Sour Pineapple canape instead. I could barely taste the pork or prawn, but the peanut was sweetened, almost like giant chunky peanut butter. The combination of sweet and salty peanuts and the sour pineapple were pretty remarkable. Wished there were plenty more instead of two.
Betel Leaf, Smoked River Trout, Peanut, Green Papaya, Mint
Each main dish caters to about four people and so we have four plates of each of the main dishes served to the 16 of us. This was supposed to be eaten in one mouthful. The trout was subtle and the shaved green papaya was overwhelmingly fresh as mint was added into it.
Filled Eggnet, Pork, Prawns, Peanuts, Caramelised Coconut
The cris-cross eggnet was one I have never seen done before. Either skillful finesse or very singularly uncommon machine was used to create the net, I am still amused. Within was a scrumptious salad with tons of fresh bean sprouts other than what was aforementioned in its title. We were entertained with pomelo bits buried within, something we never expect out of a salad. All that with some sweet and sour sauce, which really hits the spot.
Salt & Pepper Silken Tofu, Fried Eschalots, Sweet Soy
This felt as though Japanese silken agedashi tofu was handed to us. When it says silken, they meant it literally. Unpredictable, but it was absolutely my favourite dish of the night. My my, who would have expected tofu to be the starring dish. Just remember to drench the tofu in sweet soy sauce because that made all the difference.
Penang Curry, Cape Grim Beef, Peanuts, Thai Basil
Penang Curry was the runner up after the tofu. The beef reminded me of Indonesian rendang and even the taste was similar to it. It was an elevated version with the added herbs, giving it a tangy flavour altogether.
Jungle Curry, Blue Eye, Wild Ginger, Holy Basil
When served we could all already smell its fragrance. Jungle curry is usually thickened with coconut milk but this one was not. The only flaw is that they could serve us with more blue eye grenadier.
One of us was allergic to seafood, so we were served with a customised Vegetarian Curry with mashed pumpkin and various mixed vegetables. The pumpkin was surprisingly a good pairing to the curry, and so are the vegetables. The curry sauce was very different to the Penang Curry (above). This one was more smooth and not as chunky. I vote Penang Curry, but this one is not far from par.
Steamed Chinese Broccoli, Oyster Sauce
For a side of vegetables, it looks like a small bowl but the amount of broccoli leaves and stems were condensed, and trust me when I say that there were more than plenty to share. It taste very similar to the ones at any typical Chinese restaurants.
We mentioned to the waitress that it was Audy’s birthday and we received a complimentary Dessert Plate made out of traditional Asian desserts. We are not huge fans of the sticky rice with cotton candy floss shavings. Both gelato, coconut and dark chocolate, were flavour dense and we all loved it. The sago cup tasted a lot like es-campur, and it got us reminiscing of some great Indonesian es-campur experiences. The last one had caramel crisp crepe with an almost chewy consistency, made out of mostly caramelised palm sugar, sweetness overload. There is a similar Indonesian dessert like this one, which looks completely different but taste exactly the same, called bubur sum sum.
Happy Birthday once again Audy! Have a special one this year. Here’s to hoping all of your birthday wishes come true. You deserve all the happiness in the world and thanks for being such a wonderful friend.
I love the graffiti of the hidden tiger at the background, jungle appropriate with its name.
Located at the heart of Little Bourke Street, it looks like an underground eatery. This place is always fully packed and they serve really good food, but I am still leaning towards Chin Chin because their menu options are more suited to my palate.
40-44 Little Bourke Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel: +(61) 03 9671 3151