I'd like to start this post by saying "Immmmm baaccckkk!"..... Yes after a long hiatus what can be more fitting than to sit and share with you yet another fabulous dining adventure with the ever so lovely Gianna. Yes that one girl whom we all love who happens to have an affinity for allergic reactions to coriander at the drop of a hat. I mean what could be better than tempting fate yet again by going to Longrain, a Thai restaurant which has defeated us once before. Well just as it so happens tonight was a bit of a different story.
So on the way to a friend's birthday party we were feeling a bit peckish and seeing as though we were in the area we thought why not stop past for a quick tipple and a bar snack before partying the night away. We had not been since Gianna's 2nd 22nd Birthday so why not. Walking into Longrain brought back fond memories of betel leaves, egg nets and coriander infused dishes that I valiantly ate to stop Gianna from succumbing to asphyxiation. It was a truly Herculean task having to eat all that delicious food. We thought it would be a safe bet to start with only a few drinks but this thought didn't last long as we felt the need to put our names down for a table. Finding an inconspicuous corner we sat and enjoyed one of our favourite ciders (Rekorderlig) and a beer while we mused about the last time we had visited.
A few things had changed since the last time we had visited. Mainly the fact that I couldn't remember the bar being downstairs. A very nice addition I might add. The bar has a very raw warehouse feel to it with a lot of block-work, concrete, steel, brass and worn out timber. The space is dim with cool looking lights, a long bar and comfortable camouflaged seating for those wishing to stealthily sip away at their drinks and lapse into a state of chill. It's too easy to get lost in a sea of cocktails and spend your night drinking away in the bar especially because they do bar snacks. One could be content with this and opt to not go upstairs. Having ordered a small snack of betel leaves with prawns, peanuts, roasted coconut and ginger we were contemplating skipping out on staying for dinner but could not resist.
Sipping away on my beer I thought to myself that this time we had to do things differently, we should both have the chance to enjoy a meal without the possibility of a night in intensive care. We didn't want a certain coriander allergy to come back with a vengeance. As these thoughts were swirling around my head I couldn't help but put it out there in the twitterverse. Then it hit me, the simplest of things to do that we have never done before because of someones 'hero' complex. Why not ask to 'hold' the coriander. No; such an outlandish idea, how can one do such a thing in a Thai restaurant. Well my friends, apparently not. Our lovely waiter for the evening said that they happen to take allergies quite seriously and would do their best to accommodate. Game on.
Grilled Octopus with Crispy Pork Belly and Watermelon with Cuttlefish and Ginger
I have to admit I was in a nice and chill state. Sitting up stairs on the long communal table faced with the possibility that we didn't have to worry about red blotches and the like was quite comforting. There was nothing to worry about so we eagerly awaited our meal. The first dish served was the Grilled Octopus with Crispy Pork Belly and Watermelon with Cuttlefish and Ginger $34 with a bowl of the Biodynamic Brown Rice $4. Brown rice was a good choice, seeing as though we were sticking with the theme of doing things differently this evening. It was a perfect accompaniment for the pork belly and cuttlefish dish and my what a dish that was. The first thought that came to mind was the variety of colours that popped - the greens, the whites, the reds and then that very fresh smell of ginger and mint. Despite it's busyness it was quite pretty to behold and tasted even better than what it looked.
The mix of flavours was incredible as were the different textures. The pork belly was crispy and salty and went so well with the watermelon but trying to get all the different components in one mouthful was the winning strategy as this yielded the best flavour. Probably a good idea to go easy on the ginger as well because no matter what it is very overpowering.
Caramelised Pork Belly with Five Spice and Chilli Vinegar
As the last of the pork belly was being picked off the plate we didn't get a chance to catch our breath as the next dish of Caramelised Pork Belly with Five Spice and Chilli Vinegar $34 came out. This was a favourite from the last visit at Longrain (being the one dish Gianna could eat without dying) and we had to have it again. The pork is cooked to perfection with bits of meat that melt in your mouth and the bits of bone that crunch in your mouth yet break apart easily enough. The sauce is sweet and needs the chilli vinegar to cut through it. There is also enough fresh chilli to give a bit of a kick to the dish for those that enjoy that sort of thing.
Salt and Pepper Silken Tofu with sweet soy and lime
Wanting to try something different we opted for ordering the Salt and Pepper Silken Tofu with sweet soy and lime $16. This was interesting as I have never thought of ordering tofu as a main however it does its name proud. The tofu is cooked in a salt and peppered batter that provides a nice texture coat around the soft and silky tofu guts. The tofu is indeed very smooth and creamy and the salt and pepper coating makes it a nice dish as the texture is a welcome addition to these little cubic bean curd pillows. Combined with the sweet soy sauce, this dish can definitely hold its own against the big boys on the menu.
Before the carnage our dishes lie waiting in pristine condition.
So coming back to Longrain didn't end up with a night spent in intensive care. We were able to walk our way back to the car and party the night away.
Longrain Bar and Restaurant