Upon a suggestion and no idea where to head, I whipped out my iPhone and Maps to help us navigate the maze of Melbourne city to Longrain Restaurant & Bar. It led to a 10 min walk from our hotel, working up our appetites, but upon arrival we were told to expect a wait till 9pm for a table.
Undaunted and rather intrigued by the rustic decor, we sat at the drinks lounge area and it didn't turn out to be such a long wait.
To the uninitiated to Longrain or Asian dining, it might seem a little strange to be seated along long or round wooden benches. But it facilitates conversation and a sense of community with everyone - even perfect strangers on either side - and sharing several main dishes with steaming jasmine rice.
And these main dishes are amazingly fresh and zingy. If you love Thai food and want to experience it with a modern twist, Longrain is the place to be. Expect a delicate perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy - and share!
Braised lamb shoulder
with ginger asian celery & chilli
This tasted nothing like lamb.
In fact, if you had me guess what it was, I would've said pork.
The flesh falls apart like slow cooked pork.
The colour resembles pork.
The flavour of the lamb is so mild.
Crisp whole baby snapper
with chilli tamarind & lime relish
This fish was the pièce de résistance!
Everything - and I mean everything - about it was perfect.
The salad was fresh and tingled with the tartness of lime.
And if you're afraid of chilli, fear not.
The bite is mild, but lends a subtle nudge in the right direction.
Stir fried spiced beef
with chilli jam flat leaf coriander & fried shallots
The beef is hearty and packs a punch in flavour.
Do not attempt this dish if you're not prepared for a mouth explosion.
Not pictured green papaya salad.
Longrain Restaurant & Bar
44 Little Bourke Street
VIC Australia 3000
Tel: +61 3 9671 3151