Longrains Dives Into Indian Cuisine with Subcontinental


Longrain can do no wrong; we fell in love with Shortgrain and the Bunker Bar, where we relished the camouflage style darkness and enjoyed random music fuelled evenings on those oh so comfy banquets which made it really difficult not to say “Oh go on, I’ll stay for another one”. Sam Christie’s basement bar has had the courage to leap from Thai to Sri Lanka, India and go a new round of sub-de-fusion we didn’t know existed. Welcome the new, the unpigeonholable Subcontinental.

Eat up at the bar whilst perching on pea green leather butterfly seats, or grab a table on the floor or at the ever popular high chair booths. The staff and service are as smooth as the whisky cocktails, but be ready to push your food boundaries beyond the borders.


Kick off with aniseed flecked pappadums and moreish brick shaped cheese pakoras. Whilst burrata is normally an Italian staple, here its worked into a sublime salad of peanuts, mint and orange – it’s like the first time you eat Smores, so wrong, but oh so right. Cod wrapped in banana leaf is given a mustard oil zing with curry leaves and coconut, whilst the Bengali curry of king prawns and Sri Lankan black pork with pickled eggplant takes you on a round the world ticket of fun. If you fancy a bit on the side, choose the vego biryani or okra with kashmiri chilli which will cause any meat lover a dilemma.

Yes, the DJ booth has gone, it’s grown up a bit (as have we) creating a cooler more intimate hideaway in which to dine. The cocktails and wine list are still mighty fine with daily changing gin and daal menus, but what’s replaced our Thai drinking den is infinitely more exciting.

8 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Open hours: Tue – Sat, 5.30pm–10.30pm




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).


Forrester’s Pub on the corner of Riley Street in Surry Hills has been a much loved watering hole for almost 100 years, it’s seen different owners, changes of prime ministers, generations of friends and family along with periods of being laid ‘fallow’ to rest. It took hospitality favourites, Applejack to rescue this local gem and bring it back to life. A budget of $1.5m doesn’t get you much these days but the renovation its both sensitive to its history and of this era, reflecting a new, more feminine, organic and lighter approach to interior design.

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