Long Chim is a casual dining space created by David Thompson, founder of the fine-dining restaurant Nahm in London and also the restaurant for the work Christmas party in 2017.
Long Chim means ‘come and try’, and you’re welcomed into the lower ground industrial space through luxurious double height curtains. With start with their Thai-inspired mocktails that cover every taste sensation from sweet, sour, spicy to salty –
On the left is the Tamarind Soda ($8.00) made with ‘pok pok som, palm sugar, lime, and chilli salt’. Pok Pok Som is the brand of the tamarind drinking vinegar, and here, it delivers a tangy and subtly spiced drink with notes of cinnamon and allspice. On the right is the Iced Watermelon Drink ($9.00) watermelon, palm sugar, chilli salt. This intensity of watermelon flavour varies dramatically with this drink, likely depending on the sweetness of the watermelon used. but overall, it was a refreshingly sweet summer drink if rather ordinary.
On the left is the Paradise Found ($9.00) made with pineapple, almond, mint, ginger. I’m pleasantly surprised by this drink. It tastes much like pineapple juice and mint with a pleasant hint of spice but without the overbearing notes of typical uses of ginger. On the right is the Thai Milk Tea ($8.00), again a rather ordinary beverage for the price but provided much welcome relief to the spicy heat of some dishes.
For the entrees, we start with the Dried Prawns Ginger Toasted Coconut ($8.00/two pieces). The freshness of the betel leaves paired well with the richer flavours and barely-there spiciness, making for a gentle star. D wasn’t a fan of the prominent ginger flavours.
These are the Chicken Satay ($10.00/two pieces). The breast meat is surprisingly juicy but relies on the chilli dipping sauce to add flavour.
We’re fans of these Grilled Pork Skewers ($8.00/2 pieces) which have a caramelised sticky glaze.
Next up are the Crunchy Prawns ($22.00). The prawns are crumbed and crunchy, although there aren’t that many to find in the bowl of herbs, shallots and chillies. I’m not keen on herb salads.
These are the Fish Cakes ($24.00). The fish cakes have a pleasant heat, while the cucumber adds freshness and the peanuts crunch. For those, who enjoy the heat, there is whole and sliced chillis tossed throughout.
We finish the entrees with the famed Chiang Mai Larp of Chicken ($20.00), a fiery chicken mince with kaffir lime and lemongrass. This larp really delivers with a knock-your-socks-off spiciness, the kind that’s pleasantly sweet and flavourful on the first bite but sets your mouth on fire long afterwards.
A break to savour the burn from the larp we start the mains with the Nong’s Long Eggplant ($28.00) with minced pork and prawns. The eggplant was tender with a gentle heat, although the minced pork and prawns were somewhat lost. The immensely dark interior of the restaurant does not help to identify foods!
Next up is the Pineapple Curry of Pork ($26.00). The curry had an enjoyable tropical sweetness against a prominent coconut cream flavour. Again, the protein was rather scarce.
This is the Mussaman Curry of Beef ($37.00). Made with sweet potatoes and onions, the curry is certainly for the sweet tooth. The portion of beef is surprisingly generous given our experience with earlier dishes, while the sweet potato was a pleasant change from the typical potatoes.
To mix up the steamed rice, this is the Salted Fish Fried Rice ($28.00), with Chinese broccoli, shallots, chillies and cucumber. It’s enjoyable but its nothing special — I had no idea there was salted fish until afterwards.
We’re big fans of the Grilled Beef ($30.00) with roasted rice and long leaf coriander. The beef is cooked medium rare and deliciously tender with a mild heat and paired well with the bright notes of coriander.
The Siamese Watercress ($16.00) stir-fried with garlic and yellow beans is a disappointment with the watercress being super tough.
Together with the grilled beef, these Rice Noodles with Chinese Broccoli ($25.00) and soy egg beancurd are our favourite mains of the evening. The noodles have a moreish smokey flavour that makes it a standout to seemingly endless spicy on spicy dishes of the night.
For dessert, we have the Black Sticky Rice and Coconut Slice ($14.00). We were not fans. The flavour of the rice comes through prominently with the coconut jelly layer altogether creating a much too mushy mouthfeel that lacks sweetness and depth of flavour. The burnt toffee on top was the highlight.
The Banana Roti ($16.00) finishes the night on a sweet note. The roti is crispy from the caramelised sugar and contrasts well with the softer banana slices inside.
The service at Long Chim is attentive and friendly, but the portions of the food were small for the steep price. We came and tried, but we weren’t impressed to return.
Long Chim is located at Corner of Pitt St and Angel Place, Sydney NSW 2000.