So we finally got a round to Long Chim on Saturday night. It's in Crown and it's David Thomson's latest opening in Australia, joining Long Chims in Perth and Sydney.
It's in the old No 8 space at Crown, which means it has an outdoor seating area where you can watch the world go by. This was welcome on an unseasonably warm weekend and means you get to see the fireballs from your seat.
Service started well, but we were abandoned with menus for a bit too long. I had to flag someone down - mainly because I needed advice on how much food to order. Once we were underway, drinks and foods came efficiently but we were sitting with a table full of clearly finished stuff for far too long. We shortcut the process by skipping dessert and grabbing the bill.
The food was really good, definitely the best Thai food in Melbourne - but Long Chim's model is Thai street food and that means the menu is a lot leaner than other Thais. There were only two of us so we had a larb (the best dish, and the hottest thing on the menu), a sour orange curry with ling fish (superb sauce, astonishingly mean on the fish with three tiny slices), a seafood hot and sour soup (very good), and some stir fried Thai watercress (great wok smoke). There is a set menu and this might reflect better value for a couple of people, but there were a couple of dishes my wife wouldn't eat.
And it is expensive. Mains and soups come in over thirty bucks. Drinks are Crown prices.
I'm a bit torn really. It was good, and it is in Crown, but I don't feel the need to rush back. It's not a patch on Thomson's other restaurant, Nahm, but you do have to go to Bangkok for that. I'm glad I went, but I'll probably be sticking with Jinda for half the price.
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