After much anticipation, Melbourne dining institution, Longrain, will be opening its doors for the first time since March.
When the COVID-19 outbreak that devastated Melbourne forced Lisa and John van Haandel to close the modern Thai restaurant after thriving for 15 years on Little Bourke Street, restaurateur Scott Pickett of Pickett & Co. stepped in to continue the Longrain legacy.
From Wednesday, 4 November, Pickett, with Head Chef of six years Arté Assavakavinvong and Operations Manager Natasha Firman – who has been part of the Longrain team since it opened in 2005 – will unveil refreshed interiors and additional dishes whilst continuing the quality hospitality that made Longrain great and so loved.
Longrain’s menu, executed by Arté and his team, will comprise two banquet offerings, the Signature Banquet ($75), including the hits of the venue: betel leaf, seared scallop, galangal, finger lime and salmon roe; green papaya salad, snake beans, peanuts and dried shrimp; caramelised pork hock, five spice and chilli vinegar. The Royal Banquet ($95), including some newly conceived dishes: Moreton Bay bug cake wrapped in crispy bean curd; spanner crab lon, lemongrass and sea blite, fried bun; stir-fried dry red curry of kangaroo, wild ginger, Thai basil.
Upstairs, popular bar and restaurant Longsong has also seen a transformation. Previously a separate restaurant operating as a separate entity, Longsong will now be a natural and effortless extension of the Longrain space. The Loft will have more of a drinks focus, with street-food snacks inspired by the flavours from downstairs. Resident DJs, projections, multiple event spaces that can be reserved and late-night opening hours make Longsong Melbourne’s new go-to bar.
The Longrain dining room has evolved through an assemblage of local artists and designers, introducing contemporary bespoke elements while sentimentally honouring its history.
The paint finishes by Scanlan and Makers feature lush green tones in the dining room to complement the existing green tiled wall and Adnate’s iconic tiger mural, with a softer palette upstairs in Longsong evoking an ethereal feel.
Sought-after designer Oliver Wilcox of Lost Profile Studio has created alluring feature lights to brighten the dining room, with esteemed light designer Alex Earl lighting the stairway with a captivating, floating piece tempting diners and drinkers up to Longsong.
Street-side, the external signage has been designed by Studio Tops, creating two elegant, illuminated plaques out of brass with a patina that will offer warmth as it ages. Inside, Pickett’s long-term collaborator and ceramic artist Andrei Davidoff of Adceramics has created custom tableware specifically coloured to brilliantly contrast to the dishes.