A love letter to Longrain and its desserts


44 Little Bourke Street, CBD


Ok, I think I need to come clean about something before I start this post – Longrain is one of my favourite restaurants. I love it. I have loved it for years now and there is very little that anyone can do to change that. When Gerard confessed after a dinner at Longrain Sydney (more on that later) that he didn’t like it, it was almost a deal breaker for me. Luckily I managed to be the bigger person and look past it. I have made sure that we never have dinner together at the one in Melbourne, I think that if we did, and Gerard still didn’t like it, it would break my heart.

Weird emotional attachments aside, Longrain is pretty great. Having opened way back in 2005 it’s definitely not new, but it still produces consistently good thai influenced food (and cocktails!) every time.

One of the things that I love about Longrain in Melbourne is the fit out. It’s moody and raw and just industrial enough. It really is the perfect place for an intimate late night dinner. Well, assuming that sitting at a communal table for about 50 is your idea of intimate. I’ve only been to the Sydney Longrain once and just didn’t think that it had the same atmosphere, it was all a little too cold and sterile. There wasn’t the same buzz.


Before I talk about what we ate when I visited for dinner last week with my friend E, AKA Strawberry Fields, I want to take a moment for a very special message about Longrain desserts. Now a lot of people who I talk to about Longrain have never had dessert there. This saddens me. A lot. Without a doubt my favourite thing about Longrain is the dessert sample plate. The sample plate costs $38 and involves a rotating selection of approx 5 desserts, including a number that I’ve never seen appear individually on the menu or specials. I’ve spent countless late night (well, post-dinner, pre-supper club late) hours at Longrain having drinks and a dessert sample plate with friends. Some of my best nights and best memories involve the Longrain sample plate. I know that’s probably sad, but you can’t take it away from me! I’ve shared the plate with anywhere between 3 and 6 people. I think 4 is the ideal number. If you have never tried the sample plate, I am disappointed in you. Do it.

So moving on from the sample plate (which unfortunately we didn’t have because it seemed a little excessive for 2 people) Strawberry Fields and I shared 2 mains, a side, rice and a dessert. Even that was really too much, we didn’t need the dessert.

Our first dish was the duck breast salad with lychee, pomelo, chilli, tamarind & roasted rice ($38.50). I hadn’t had this salad before and I really enjoyed it. The only thing I should say though is that the term ‘salad’ is used pretty loosely, this isn’t so much a salad as a bowl of duck with a sprinkling of some saladish ingredients around it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, you give the people what they want and people want duck.


Our other main was the caramelised pork hock with chilli vinegar and crisp garlic ($33.50). This is my favourite thing on the mains menu, I think I’ve had it every time I’ve eaten dinner at Longrain. You just can’t beat that sweat and vingerary pork. I have literally had dreams about this pork. Repeatedly.


Another standard for Strawberry Fields and I is the salt and pepper silken tofu ($14). Crispy exterior, silky interior. I can’t fault it.


For dessert we shared one of the specials, a cardamom creme with pomegranate jelly and passionfruit ($10.50). At first I didn’t want dessert, I figured that I didn’t need it and I was going to be guilty about it for hours. I’m glad that I was talked around though because it was delicious. The combination of the creme, jelly and pomegranate seeds was great. It reminded me why as much as I love that caramelised pork, the desserts will always be my favourite thing about Longrain.


In the end
Longrain may not be cheap (it’s certainly more expensive than Chin Chin) but it is always high quality food and has a great atmosphere. The other upside of it having been around for over 5 years now is that you can almost always just walk in to a table. Perfect.

Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon

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  • Samm1one

    Thank you for the fantastic insight to what must be a lovely restaurant