Much hyped hawker communal dining restaurant, Longrain (44 Lt Bourke St, 9671 3151) quickly became the ‘must try’ restaurant of Melbourne after its huge success in Sydney and to a large extent the concept of communal dining and sharing dishes with each other works well, allowing you to try a range of dishes and appreciating the flavours of the curries and other dishes.
For a group of 10, this was a perfect opportunity to try a range of dishes. The Braised Duck in Soy was juicy, tender and flavoursome with the meat shredding seamlessly off the bone. Just as delicious were the Salt and Pepper Tofu with Mixed Asian Greens, the Red Curry with Wagu Beef and vegetable, the Red Tofu Curry and the Thai Angus Beef Salad. The flavours and aromas wafting from each dish, certainly added to the anticipation of tasting the dishes.
Washed down with Pinot Gris, Mojitos and other cocktails, Longrain succeeds in creating a vibrant atmosphere in a large warehouse that is stylistically designed for functionality and ambiance. Cocktails were flowing, music pumping, beautiful people abound.
The queue lining up at the bar eagerly anticipating is testament to the popularity of the place. Longrain, like many popular new Melbourne eateries has two sitting sessions, 6:30 and 9pm. And you don’t want to be late as we were.
Although generally the wait staff were courteous, helpful and made educated recommendations (particularly for a large group) the experience was bought down by one waitress who consistently asked questions and reiterated the 9pm deadline which our table was to be vacated by. Although she was polite about the whole situation, we felt under pressure to wolf down our meals and get out, not allowing us to soak up the environment and enjoy our meals properly. Had only she mentioned it once at the beginning and then 30 minutes before the 9pm finish, it would have been fine, but this was not the case with a reminder (what felt like) every 15mins.
Aside from that demeanor, the atmosphere, food and efficency is top notch. Longrain deserves a second visit with a much smaller group and being on time to try the entrees and desserts which sounded equally as mouthwatering and delicious.
2.5 of 5
Bought down by the constant barrage by one waitress