Longrain

As the name suggests, Longrain is an Asian fusion restaurant. Thai, and Southern Chinese, specifically.

Following tradition, the restaurant features a long communual table, intended for ‘banquet-style’ eating (ie. large dishes shared amongst large groups). However, we arrived for dinner as an intimate party of two and were content to share amongst ourselves!

The menu features a mouth-watering range of tempting options. These include ingredients such as: smoked trout, banana blossom, Ora king salmon, green papaya, caramelised coconut, slow cooked duck, eggnet, caramelised pork hock … the list goes on.

Here’s what we settled on:

Caramelised pork, prawn, peanuts, and sour pineapple (entrée)

Longrain pine IMG_0876

Duck, banana blossom, roasted eschalot relish, and Changmai sausage

Longrain changmai 1 IMG_0877

Slow cooked yellow curry of Bultarra saltbush lamb with kipfler potatoes

ImageI particularly enjoyed the sticky-preserved texture of the pork entrée and I’d definitely order the lamb again, just for the buttery, creamy kipfler potatoes. An array of exotic ‘fusion’ cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are also available to accompany your meal. And if you can’t wait until dinner, these can be ordered as pre-dinner drinks in the lounge as you wait to be seated. Longrain has venues in both Sydney and Melbourne and I was as happy with my experience, if not more so than my visits to other popular Asian-fusion establishments. Price and quality is comparable, the only difference being Longrain provides a formal setting, appropriate for a special night out. Reservations are taken only for Friday lunches and group bookings for dinner are generally limited. (We chose to arrive promptly at 6pm to avoid the evening queue).

44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

85 Commonwealth Street, 
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

http://longrain.com

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Broccolini Mushroom Stir-Fry: Clean and Simple

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They say cats eat grass when they’re ill. Some believe cats eat grass to relieve sore throats. And I’ve also heard it’s a natural laxative … As for me, grass probably isn’t going to do it, but I know green’s what I’ve yearned for while feeling under the weather.

So, broccolini has been it. This broccoli-kai-lan hybrid has been around for a while, but it’s only recently that I’ve really come to love it. Light cooking produces a bright spring green colour and it has an easy-to-eat appeal, particularly when you’re feeling like baby-bites of food – it’s so tender that you can eat the entire stalk. It’s also high in vitamin C, A, and B6; calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.

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When fresh, broccolini needs little attention. On this occasion, I stir-fried it with a few crushed garlic cloves; then added some tinned straw mushrooms, as well as some pre-marinated honey-soy tofu for protein. Keeping things clean and simple, I paired the stir-fry with rice (sushi rice, my favourite) and finished it off with a sprinkling of cashews.

Voilà. Clean, simple, healthy food for humans.

Wonderbao

Wonderbao shop front IMG_0988

Facing a cobblestone alleyway, Wonderbao is one of Melbourne’s more recent ‘bao’ havens. Their approach is just as much ‘downtown Chinatown’ – authentic, cheap, simple – as it is ‘now’ – fresh, fun, minimalistic.

Wonderbao serves several delicious varieties of bao, including:

  • Braised pork belly gua bao
  • Roast pork belly gua bao
  • Da chicken bao
  • Cheung chay bao (chinese sausage)
  • Choi bao (veg)
  • Nai wong bao (custard)
Choi bao and Braised pork belly gua bao

Choi bao and Braised pork belly gua bao

Yum. And each bao is priced between $2-4, so they’re genuinely street treats.

Kitchen-sized, seating is limited so be prepared to order to go.

Address: Shop 4/ 19-37 A’Beckett St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 (by RMIT University)

https://www.facebook.com/wonderbaokitchen