Time Out (Melbourne) - - INSIDE - Larissa Dubecki

The low­down on the new bar­diner up­stairs from Lon­grain


STICKS- LOVIN’ folk of Mel­bourne have been re­warded. Long­song was one of the most an­tic­i­pated open­ings of 2016. And of 2017. Which makes it lucky in­deed that it snuck in un­der the chime of midnight to open just be­fore 2018. So was it worth the wait? That’s an em­phatic yes from us, al­though it may have a way to go yet in di­vorc­ing it­self from an­chor tenant Lon­grain down­stairs. The menu proper is some­thing that is not so much Thai or even Thai-ish but a doc­u­ment that might have once been waved in the di­rec­tion of the king­dom of Siam. Prize re­cruit David Moyle, late of Ho­bart’s all-con­quer­ing Franklin, leaves the co­conut milk and tamarind to the down­stairs gaff. Here things are driven by the kitchen’s cus­tom-built stain­less-steel bra­zier, which im­parts a smoky heft across ev­ery­thing it en­coun­ters. Things on sticks are an unim­peach­able part of pro­ceed­ings. Bouncy duck hearts with a shiver of fresh horse­rad­ish are grounded in a Ja­panese-in­flected sauce of mirin and soy. Nublets of lamb sim­i­larly boast the spring of the not-over­cooked and an earthy dust­ing of cu­min; and squid ink-stained cala­mari sing of sea and smoke. Chase them with an or­der of the golden-topped spongy flat­bread, glossy and rich with duck fat. Some­thing big­ger? How about two split More­ton Bay bugs doused in but­ter, a whis­per of fish sauce, a squeeze of lemon, and a bed of sour sor­rel? Or the breast of the whole duck that gave its heart to the skewer cause? The Chi­nese-style bird is bap­tised in mas­ter­stock over coals, wood grilled to or­der and served with plum sauce. Both drive home the point that Long­song is about tak­ing good in­gre­di­ents and not fuck­ing them up. As attests the sole dessert (we’re told the list is grow­ing) of a cheek of mango, its su­gars caramelised af­ter an en­counter with di­rect heat, with noth­ing but a dob of thick yo­ghurt and a modesty leaf of shiso.

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