40-44 Little Bourke street Melbourne
(Visited May ’18)
Well, late May and it was turning out to be a restaurant-heavy week. From the streets off Mornington Main, to Fed Square, to then, the laneways of Melbourne CBD, that last week was seriously bringing it all.
But what exactly WOULD the final hurrah of Autumn bring?
It was a cold night, the Winter settling in a touch earlier and letting us know who was on its way. I found car park within a raised building about a block away and walked over to Little Bourke to wait it out and see who else of my friends would arrive for our overdue catch-up.
Unfortunately for us no one had thought to book. Boo. Once myself and some others were there, waiting for more to arrive, we went inside to put ourselves on a waitlist that the front of house was more than happy to attend to.
Then we went back outside in the Friday cold night, to what else…
We talked and talked and talked. We waited and talked for what seemed like 30 minutes. Once our entire party was there we headed in to see if they had something ready for us, but alas we were a tad off –
NEVERMIND. We were seated on the side of the restaurant, kind of like a waiting bay, where some waiters very graciously attended to us.
Drink? Sure I’ll have a drink. I perused the menu and after a couple nearby gave me their not-very-sober two cents, I ordered the Red Dragon cocktail.
Red Dragon – Chilli infused Ketel One Vodka, Peach liqueur, raspberries, coriander, cranberry
WOAH. Talk about chilli. This had certain, definite, ain’t-no-denying-it, KICK. I sipped and slurped and there were all these other authentic chunky bits floating in my drink, like coriander leaves and little cranberries, and it was just super vibrant and PHWOAR.
I was actually worried I would be feeling it for days, you know… Happy to report that did not happen! 😉
We weren’t there awfully long before we were taken to a round table, so appropriate for the restaurant indeed…
Because share plates was the name of the game here peeps, at Longrain. Sure there were dishes you could certainly order individually, but the turntable enabled a sense of sharing is caring, a oneness with those around you, and a communal atmosphere.
So let’s see how that went.
After a lot of deliberation and careful negotiation with others at the table (you don’t wanna order the same thing now do you) I ordered the –
Green curry, roasted pumpkin, heirloom carrots, apple and pea eggplant
Of course the dim lighting doesn’t do the variety nor the detail in the meal justice, but even so just as the lighting was underwhelming, so too was my meal.
It was basically a whole chunk of pumpkin in an extremely spicy broth with a variety of other vegies to boot. $30 for really spicy pumpkin. It tasted great, I won’t deny that, but essentially that was it. I thought I was going to spontaneously combust at one stage, what with the chilli coming forth from that meal, on top of my chilli-infused drink! Sweating much? I was reaching for water VERY often.
I did dabble in some other things on the table. There were rice sides, noodles, filled eggnet, and all manner of really fancy looking things zhuzh-ing up the table…
(Some things I tasted on the side)
But I felt a bit weird, mainly because there were some friends that had ordered specifically individually-minded, and others who were sharing. Where were the barriers? What could be had? What was to be shared? What was private? Lines were blurred and set and blurred again, so much so that I had a little of this and a little of that to settle that overwhelming heat, and then that was it.
Inner-city restaurant first world problems… I know.
After our food was cleared (and a lot packed into take-home boxes) we also got some coffees.
My cappuccino was great, a really calming fix to all that had come before.
It had been a great night, company and all. With all of that fire raging through me, I was sure it would safely carry me through the cold night, and back to the refuge of my car…
Food: 7/10. The food presentation was sensational. Other meals were colourful and creative, yet mine, though tasty, lacked somewhat in individual satisfaction.
Coffee: 7/10. Mild.
Ambience: Really happening and bustling, but with a sense of off-the-beaten-track, hidden alleyway feel. Well duh. Little Bourke street, after all. It was moody, atmospheric, but be warned… those taking photos on their phones, your pics will come out looking like shit due to the mood lighting.
Staff: They were amazing. From the man who took our number down initially to seat us later, the guy who made small talk with us as we got our drinks, and then the waiter who so patiently waited for us while we ‘umm’ed and ‘ahh’ed and asked question after question over the menu… top scores here. Simply brilliant.
People: Lots of friends and dinner-after-work get together’s here. Oh so obvious. I mean we are in the city, right.
Price: $50 covered my meal and cap, and the extra covered the other food I had ‘dabbled’ in from a friend (!)
Advice: Share. Share Share Share.
Or, don’t share don’t share don’t share.
Make it known what is happening. And if you order the pumpkin, make sure you get something like rice on the side. Your mouth will thank you for it.
In a nutshell: Look, if you haven’t already guessed it, the theme at Longrain is sharing is caring… If you aren’t sharing, you aren’t really caring for you or others on the table now are you? Or things will just become awfully confusing and you won’t know where you stand.
So, make a stand! If you go here, make sure you know what you are doing, and order accordingly.
Me personally? Although the service was immaculate, I don’t think I would go back… being a Leo and all, when I catch my prey, I like to have it all to myself… Grains and all.