It’s the opening I’ve been waiting years for. Finally David Thompson has come to Melbourne with a branch of Long Chim at Crown. I was invited to the dazzling opening party but also headed back the next week to check out the full menu myself with my friend Claire.
Long Chim is located along the river bank and makes the most of the view with lots of outdoor seating. On a balmy Melbourne night with the hot plate sizzling and the smells of spice in the air it does have a feel of Thailand about it. Cutlery plonked int he middle of the table and lots of bar style seating give the place a casual feel.
You’ve got to start with Long Chim’s take on an Aperol Spritz: the Pomelo Spritz ($22). It’s aromatic and almost spicy but still with the distinctive bitter but sweet taste of an Aperol Spritz.
The heat factor is pretty authentic at Long Chim so beware when ordering – some of the dishes will knock your socks off. When the waiters say ‘spicy’ here they mean it. Let’s just say I gulped down a lot of cocktail at the same time as snacking on the heat laden crunchy prawns ($20).
From the grill pork skewers ($18) are hot to go. Charred, smoky and tender these are one of the best things on the menu.
I find it hard not to order Pad Thai ($34) in a Thai restaurant and was keen to check out Long Chim’s version. It was decent with slippery noodles and spankingly fresh prawns but not revelatory.
I was more impressed with Long Chim’s execution of another tried and true classic, Fried Rice. The fried rice ($32) here is seriously luxe, fluffy rice perfectly cooked so each kernel is distinct and flecked with sweet crab meat and chunks of cucumber.
I loved the banana pancakes ($16) to finish the meal. They were served just as they are in Thailand with a crispy batter mixture. I was instantly transported to a little street side stall (although admittedly at an inflated price). That’s what Long Chim is all about. Long on fun and spice and a real taste of great Thai food.
Gourmet Chick attended Long Chim once as a guest and once independently.
Details: Long Chim, Crown Promenade, Southbank