Monday, October 19, 2009

Visiting and Eating Melbourne - Part 2

Okay, it's Day 2 of my Melbourne sojourn.  Who said Sunday is a day of rest?  Not when there's so much to see and eat!

I had plans to meet fellow blogger Rilsta of My Food Trail for lunch, but unfortunately she was unwell on the day - sorry we couldn't meet up, sweetie, maybe next time.

So instead of Crystal Jade for yum cha, I went to Degraves Street for a typical Sunday brekkie of bacon and eggs.  Degraves Espresso is so quintessentially  Melbourne to me - little zinc-topped  tables in the narrow laneway, with patrons squeezed together for a weekend coffee.  I felt quite part of the crowd there.

Breakfast a la Melbourne - bacon with scrambled eggs on sourdough toast ($14.50); soy mocha (I think they forgot the chocolate, though - couldn't taste any choc at all).

After this, we bought ourselves a Sunday Saver tram ticket (a bargain at $3.10) and caught the tram to St Kilda beach.  There are some art and craft markets there on Sunday, mainly selling handpainted pottery, paintings, dog leashes, and the like - nothing special, if you ask me - so we stepped into Luna Park for a look. It's actually like stepping back in time, with the wooden rollercoaster, ghost train and dodgem cars.  And doesn't the face look like Bert Newton (is it supposed to?)?

Family fun at Luna Park

Then we took a walk along the Esplanade.  There were some rain clouds in the distance, but they stayed away during our leisurely stroll...

...And where did the leisurely stroll lead us to but the cake shops in Acland Street (phew, you think I was going to walk past them??).

These are proper European cakes and pastries, filled with cream and topped with fruit.  A traditionalist's delight!  We bought a wonderfully crisp cannoli filled with custard, a fat vanilla slice and a syrupy kataifi to eat later.

Cakes from Monarch Cakes, Acland Cake Shop and European Cake Shop

There usually aren't many restaurants open on Sunday night, so, again, I hadn't made any bookings, because I was hoping to make an early appearance at Longrain.  I know, the original Longrain is in Sydney, but I've never been to it.  And frankly, I am not a fan of Thai cuisine, given that our local Thai takeaway has horrible food.  But Longrain is in a league of its own, and I'm now a convert.

We arrived before 6pm, so there were heaps of tables available

Here is what we ate:

Betel leaf with smoked trout and prawns ($6.00 each); the famous eggnet filled with prawn, pork, peanuts and beansprouts ($27.50) was incredibly fresh-tasting - nearly every table ordered it

Twice-cooked Lamb salad ($38.00) and caramelised pork hock (half serve, $16).  Both were great, especially the fried crispy pork, which was served with caramelised palm sugar sauce.

Dessert of vanilla tapioca and lychee with coconut biscuit and cacao sorbet ($14.50) - we shared this but I could have had one on my own.  Incredibly good.

This visit to Longrain has made me want to visit the one in Sydney (natch).  It was soooo good, and a really eye-opener for me in terms of what this type of food can be like.  I hesitate to say 'Thai food' because I don't really know what it's like.  I just know I like this, even with the quite expensive prices!

Longrain is at 44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne.  Ph: 03 9671 3151 (no bookings except for large tables).  Open Mon-Sat 6-11pm, Sun 5.30-9pm

Our final full day in Melbourne is coming up next.  Hope you can keep up!
Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh great coverage! I really must get to Melbourne sometime! I love the pork hock at Longrain mmmm

  2. Boo for not being able to meet up! :( But there is always next time! :)

    Loving all your photos of Melbourne! It is great to see a visitor's point of view! Looks and sounds like you had a fabulous trip.

  3. Beach walking and cakes sounds like a lovely afternoon. I'm glad longgrain was good. It's great that the signature dish was as good as promised.

  4. I love the cake shop find.. I've never been to melbourne, but have been told about the numerous cafes and awesome coffee, need to make my way down. I am obsessed with Longrain, glad to see that the melbourne branch's food looks excatly like Sydney's one. LOL prior to Longrain, I was a little iffy with expensive Thai restaurants, but like you said, Longrain is in a class of it's own.

  5. Oooh... everyone at Longrain looks so good! I'm adding it to my list of restaurants to go to when I'm in Melbourne in January. I hope the list doesn't get too long!

  6. there's always so much to do in melbourne! thanks for sharing your adventure -it has me longing to go back...

  7. I love a tourist's view of Melbourne =) Gorgeous photos! Makes me want to head out to St Kilda post haste!

  8. Oh! I may have posted too late. I was going to suggest you try out Babka Bakery on Brunswick St, Fitzroy.

    They do a mean Pear tarte Tatin and would have avoided the queues that builds up on weekends.

    The vanilla tapioca looks great though! W

  9. I had no idea there was a Longrain in Melbourne too! Hehe the eggnet is such a signature item of theirs. What a shame Rilsta was not well!

  10. oh that eggnet looks yummy! so artistic hehe. and don't u just love all the graffitti in melb??

  11. You had a great time exploring Melbourne. Haven't been there for a while. Itching to go back soon.. may be December.

  12. I'm going to Melbourne in November - your posts are going to come in very handy! If you were to choose only two restaurants to recommend what would they be??

  13. Belle! The boy is going to Melbourne and has asked me what do I want so he can buy it.... any kitchen/baking shops around the city that you recommend????

  14. I never knew that Longrain was originally in Sydney! So glad you tried the eggnet it's a must try. I've never had breakfast at Degraves St though, but I definitely plan to next time I'm in Melbourne :)

  15. hello, just dropped by :)
    im from sydney and wanting to go and visit melbourne soon, just wondering where was the first picture taken?? thanks !

  16. hi FFichiban - Melbourne's great to visit, and I wouldn't mind living there, either!

    hi Rilsta - we had a wonderful time. I'm sure we will meet up very soon!

    hi Arwen - I just had to have the eggnet, and it was so fresh-tasting and delicious.

    hi Linda - the cake shops we went to are quite old school, but there's something so nostalgic about them. And agree about exxy Thai places - Longrain is a cut above.

    hi Conor - hehe, I had a list of 10restaurants (for a 3 day visit)! It's good to have some backups though.

    hi Jen - you're welcome. I'm glad you're enjoying the virtual trip!

    hi Iron Chef Shellie - a tourist view makes us look at familiar things with a new eye, doesn't it? St Kilda is so cosmopolitan, but so busy on Sundays.

    hi Adrian - ooh, thanks, I love a good cake shop! Babka is now on my list. I have to go back to Brunswick St next time - the shops there are fab!

    hi Lorraine - ironic that I've never been to the Sydney Longrain! I want to have that eggnet again and again...

    hi Betty - Melbourne is so arty. Even the graffiti looks good (at least the ones in the official street art laneways!)

    hi Ellie - I wish I had more time for exploring in Melbourne. Hope you can fit a trip in soon.

    hi Trissa - oh, how can one choose? I did like Longrain this time, and I've had good meals at Becco, Donovans and Bistro Vue. They are all so different, but all good. I'd love to know which ones you go to!

    hi Trisha - oh, I'm sorry I don't know any kitchenware places. Maybe one of our Melbourne friends can suggest somewhere?

    hi clekitty - Degraves St was so Melbourne to me. At least I felt like a local (sort of!)

    hi Anonymous - the 1st photo was taken in Centre Place, a laneway between Flinders Lane and Collins St. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. I've not been to longrain either. Its in my sights! The food just looks amazing and I want to tr it myself. I guess there are alot of things we have in our own backyard that we dont really notice, at least you have longrain in sydney when you get back.

  18. I've only been to Longrain once several years ago but I still remember the betel leaf we ate there. It was fantastic, a definite must eat. :)