Longrain: A Review
If someone had to ask me for my favourite restaurant in Sydney, I am sure I would say Longrain.
Like a moth to a candle this modern ‘Australian’ Thai restaurant attracts Sydney siders in its sleekly designed converted loft with great cocktails and fabulous food. I continue to return to Longrain like many others, for the divinely crisp caramelised pork hock with chilli vinegar, a betel leaf a stick cocktail and a curry or two.
Although the no booking rule often leaves visitors waiting an hour or more on popular nights the wait I assure you is very soon forgotten as very shortly after you order, your spectacular array of food arrives.
As always the caramelised pork hock is a must have at our table, we even order two. The mixture of sweet and sticky pork meat covered with a crisp exterior drizzled with a little caramel and then served with chilli vinegar is always welcoming. To me this dish is better than any candy I enjoyed as a kid, and always without doubt makes the night worthwhile.
Martin Boetz, head chef of Longrain was on to a sure thing when he made his first Eggnet salad eight years ago and will be a fool to ever take it off the menu. The Eggnet is a salad of pork mince, prawns, peanuts and bean shoots wrapped up in a thin lattice of egg is a refreshing dish, that is nothing short of flavour, but helps break up the sweetness or spiciness of the other dishes. Our waiter is clever enough to suggest a half portion as we still have a few more dishes to come.
The service at Longrain is another reason why I continue to return. It was only when I actually started to work as a chef that I realised your tip is essentially for the service you are provided and not how great the food is. At Longrain the service is always remarkable. The staff knows the food and wine perfectly and are always happy meet your needs with nothing but a smile. In a nearly constantly busy restaurant I know that having wait staff like that is a blessing and miracle.
The soft shell crab with green mango salad and sweet fish sauce arrives and our eyes light up. Without doubt this dish explores the perfection of Thai flavours- hot, sour, salty and sweet. The soft shell crab is light and crispy to perfection, matching wholly with the crunch sour salad and sweet meat of these crustaceans.
The red curry duck with ginger and crispy Thai basil was a surprising delight, and sums up why I think I will always love Longrain. This was the last dish to arrive at our table, and after having satisfied my cravings for mouth-watering meals this succulent and possible new favourite arrived. The duck was not at all fatty, yet perfectly crisp on the skin, while the flesh was moist and luscious. This gorgeous bird was coated in a beautiful simple red curry and matched with crisp basil leaves. There was nothing for fronting with this dish, and I am sure you could come across in Thailand, however it made my night for the flavours and well sourced produce spoke for themselves with perfect precision.
Sydney definaltly would benefit from having more restaurants like Longrain.