85 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, NSW
02 9280 2888
Introducing the Asian table concept to Sydney over 15 years ago, Longrain has inspired a whole generation to share food, tables and banter over a South-East Asian feast. The vision was well before its time, and has seen Longrain become the inspiration for numerous restaurants who have followed suit.
Martin Boetz, the co-founder of the concept, introduced the South East Asian menu, and today’s Head Chef, Victor Chung, has carried on the legacy. The legendary menu brings together the four elements of Asian cooking – hot, sour, salty and sweet – in perfect harmony.
Respecting its iconic status in Sydney, Longrain’s owner, Sam Christie, said he is simply the custodian of this impressive landmark. He said, “My Sydney is interesting and diverse with so many different cuisines, whether it’s Thai, Greek or Japanese.”
Starting his career as a sommelier, Sam has made a name for himself by daring to pair wines with complex Asian flavours. In fact, Sam played a principal role in establishing the prominence of this type of pairing in Sydney today.
Sam has introduced a great wine list at Longrain featuring rieslings, sauvignon blancs, semillons and sparkling wines from around the world. Beers, ciders, and inventive cocktails that combine everything from lychees to orgeat syrup and coriander root are also served.
Dishes are designed to be shared, and the main dining room features round tables that can fit up to eight guests. There’s a long bar, and bamboo appears here and there throughout the room. Downstairs in this Surry Hills warehouse is a happening cocktail bar, Bunker Bar, that serves to a well-heeled crowd. The downstairs space also offers a daily lunch time canteen that serves a fresh daily menu of salads, noodles and curries.
Serving up modern Thai food, Victor uses locally grown Asian vegetables and herbs from the Liverpool area. You’ll find such Thai classics as Green Curry with Organic Chicken and Thai eggplants; Grilled Angus Beef Rib with yellow bean and ginger; and Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli with snow peas, garlic and oyster sauce. Order just a few plates and your tongue will be embraced with coriander, Vietnamese mint, ginger, curry and chilli.
To sample the restaurant’s more adventurous side, try the Filled Eggnet. It combines the sweetness of a shrimp, pork, vegetable and coconut caramel sauce filling with a cucumber relish and lime and the delicate ‘eggnet’ wraps the entire dish. Additionally, the Sour Orange Curry has a tangy punch that enhances the savoury elements of scallops, cuttlefish and mussels and the restaurant’s signature dish is Steamed Whole Barramundi with ginger, shallots and black beans.
After opening Longrain, Sam went on to team up with additional hospitality veterans to open Longrain Melbourne and The Apollo. In partnership with Jonathan Barthelmess, he has also opened Cho Cho San, an Izakaya-inspired drinking lounge that features lots of experimental, Japanese-inspired food.