David Thompson’s Long Chim Melbourne


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

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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