Thursday, January 11, 2018

Longrain, Melbourne CBD by Rockstar

Friday night, two weeks before Christmas. A girls' birthday catch up was complicated by busy workplaces and last minutes diary changes. So: no booking - always a tough call in the city at any time let alone during the festive season. We organised to meet at Longsong, the new bar above Longrain. It’s a beautiful use of the space - high ceilings that retain the sense of history and it's nice and airy even on a summer’s night. 

Longrain, Melbourne, betel leaves
Betel leaves with poached prawn, coconut, snow peas and chilli jam

When the last of us arrived, she’d stopped by downstairs at Longrain to put our names down for dinner. I’ll admit to being rather grumpy at this point. I like things to be organised, I’d had a tough week and I didn’t have much faith we’d be having dinner at a decent hour. Plus the drinks menu at Longsong had nothing I wanted. We sat, the girls had a beer and just as our whipped smoked fish with crispbread arrived, we got a call announcing our table downstairs was available! We quickly demolished the salty delicious smoked fish and toppled down the stairs to Longrain.  

Longrain has been a Melbourne standard since it arrived - and I haven’t been since then. One of the girls was there just a few days before for a Christmas work lunch and was impressed. The decor is lovely - lush and luxuriously tropical, with beautiful lighting and tiling. It’s also quite spacious - no piling people in on top of each other.

Longrain, Melbourne, ping pong, gin sin
I’m a picky cocktail drinker, and couldn’t decide between the ping pong (lemon vodka, lychees, passion fruit and lime) or the gin sin (gin, lychee, ginger, soho liquer and ginger beer). Luckily between the others they ordered both so I was able to have a sip of each before deciding! I’ll admit my grumpiness was starting to dissipate... I choose the delightful summery refreshing ping pong, though the gin sin was also equally delicious.

We chose to share as the menu very much suits that, plus there were too many choices that were a must. Longrain’s food style is one of my favourites: a perfect mix of chilli heat, citrus tang, sweetness with lightness and richness.

We each had a betel leaf with poached prawn, coconut, snow peas and chilli jam - a perfectly balanced parcel (see first pic).

Longrain, Melbourne, raw black kingfish
The raw black kingfish with sweet soy yuzu and crisp wonton skins was a little bit of heaven. A combo I would happily eat every day. The fresh creamy kingfish topped with chilli, served with a divine tangy yuzu soy dressing and those crispy, shattering wontons. Absolutely dreamy.

We had a robust discussion about the choices for our mains - the birthday girl isn’t a fish fan; I wasn’t keen on the lamb neck curry she wanted; and another doesn’t like tofu. Looking back we decided well and not just because I got my way!

Longrain, Melbourne, caramelised pork hock
The caramelised pork hock with five spice and chilli vinegar was exquisite - just the right amount of meaty fattiness, with crunchy skin and tender tasty meat, with the unctuous fattiness beautifully cut by the vinegar sauce  and chilli.

Longrain, Melbourne, Ora King Salmon
The salt and pepper silken tofu, with crispy shallots and sweet soy was magical. The textures and the flavours... the way the crispy seasoned outside yields to a soft delicate inside. Oh my.

The char grilled banana leaf Ora King salmon and aromatic red curry was the most incredible curry I’ve had the pleasure to taste. Spicy, with great flavour depth, and the most tender, rich salmon - with rice and the hot chilli dressing - an absolute delight. Even when my mouth was burning and my belly was full, I kept on eating it.

Longrain, Melbourne
It’s been a long time since I’ve visited Longrain. It will not be so long again before I return. For the quantity and the quality of food, with shared dishes, I would consider the meal good value for exceptional food and fabulous service.


We loved it
We loved it.


Longrain is exceptional. Returning to Longrain has shown again how they lead the way, with perfectly balanced food and drinks, and fine service in a beautiful environment.

Also have a gander at Kit Kat's review back in 2010.

Find it at

40-44 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: 9653 1600

Longrain Melbourne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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