In sports we think of Mohamed Ali, Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt as the ‘greats’. When it comes to Thai food there really is only one – David Thompson. From his Darley Street and Sailors Thai origins, to Nahm in London, he courageously did the impossible – took Thai food to the Thai’s then conquered Singapore. Wave your Aussie flag. Thompson is back with more than a few new moves.
Forget Google maps, simply follow your nose. Fragrant lemon grass, dried shrimps, char lime leaves and fish sauce – it’s the kind of intoxicating perfume foodies want to dab behind their ears. Unlike its older Sydney sister, Melbourne’s Southbank location has it all. It’s a vibrant space filled with light, double height ceilings dominated by a Bangkok street scene mural, walls adorned with Thompson’s favourite Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, wire basket lights illuminating a long communal high table and lots off alfresco seating to watch the world go by.
But your attention will be stolen by the food, starting with a bowl of crunchy school prawns, shallots and deep fried herbs. Fish cakes are a grown up affair, fried till dark brown, tossed with cucumber, chilli and peanuts; it’s a moody dish. Things get lively with a feisty green curry of chicken and Thai eggplants and a stir fry of soft shell crab and black pepper. No meal is complete without noodles and Thompson overcame his mainstream concerns to bring you Pad Thai his style; we dare you to go outside your comfort zone.
The ‘charred noodles’ is a cracker, large charred ribbons blackened by flame are deliciously tumbled with squid, chicken, dried shrimp and egg. Gone is the sweetness of a Pad See Ew, this is a far superior dish. Don’t miss out on what must be the best fried rice in town –especially when you add roast duck to it!
There’s a lot to love about Long Chim. Even the music is unusually hip for this part of town as you are treated to Cool & The Gang, Chaka Khan & Duran Duran. There’s something to be said for a restaurant this good, it doesn’t need to follow a code, it breaks them.
Long Chim Melbourne
Crown Melbourne Riverwalk
8 Whiteman Street
03 8582 2069