For those of you who follow my blog will know that I work in Brisbane quite frequently. So a girl has to eat look after her and eat well right? As one of our after work gathering, we ventured to the Valley for some fusion Thai. I read about LONgTIME in a few publications and was curious to see what Brissy had to offer in terms of up market fusion.
Located in Ann Street, the main entrance is off the main street anv via an alleyway lit with garden lights. It's actually a beautiful atmosphere to wait and chill with a drink. Then you enter a garage like space and greeted with loud, upbeat music. Good thing about this place is that take bookings so you don't have to worry about coming all the way to the Valley just to be told there is no table or a 2 hour wait (unlike a lot of restaurants in this category in Melbourne and Sydney these days).
We had a large group so we were seated on half of the communal table in the centre of the restaurant. It was a bit difficult to talk since we were spaced out and the background noise was very loud in the restaurant but if you are happy speaking slightly louder or in a group of 2-4 people, then you would be fine.
Some of my colleagues know I am food blogger so they were quite happy to leave the ordering up to me and I happily took upon that duty.
To start I got us a bunch of their bar snacks to share. First one off the rank was the soft shell crab bao with apple slaw ($4.50). Soft shell crab is one those those things that is usually a crowd pleaser and this time it was no different. Crisp bites of crab went well with the sweet and slightly tangy apple slices.
Second bar snack we got was the Thai chicken hot dog. These were mini bite size hot dog $4 each. Each dog had a perfectly cooked chicken frank with corridandar mayo finish. It's a good way to ease into Asian Fusion for the colleagues who were new to this concept.
Third bar snack was the taco. This has prawn laab in a cripsy taco shell with diced salad inside.
Next we moved on to the salads, since we were at a Thai fusion restaurant, the egg net salad was essential. This was a delicately constructed egg net with pork slices, cuttlefish, slaw and finished with a caramelised sugar sauce. This was a good light salad that had a bite in it. Great for a large or small group and a fresh option to compliment the other heavier dishes to come.
My Swedish Paella boss picked the other salad which was the pomelo salad with prawns, coconut, crispy dried shallots and finished with a chilli jam dressing. This is what I would considered a 'fun' salad. All the fun elements were presemt, a seafood bite from the prawn, texture and coconut fragrant from the bites of dried coconut and the dressing was sweet with that small refined kick where it was needed.
After the salads came the soup. Given we were at a Thai restaurant it felt fitting to order a tom yum. Unlike the typical tom yum, this was served with a few pieces of giant prawn crackers and black mussels (as the hero ingredient), prawns and an assortment of sprouts and herbs. This was a lot spicy than I had anticipated. I'm normally pretty good with my spicy food tolerance, I found myself reaching for a drink a few times. Wouldn't recommend this for someone who can't take spicy. This is definitely more on the hot side. The level of sourness was good but unless you can take the heat, you won't enjoy this one.
For the meats we ordered the smoked chicken, this came with a sweet chilli sauce. This was my favourite dish of the night. The chicken fell off the bone, it juicy and the meat was tender. The basting was smoky and intense enough to pack a hit of flavour.
Out of the curries we got the morton bay bug curry. This was quite interesting, I've never had bay bugs in curry before and I was surprised with how good it tasted. The curry was a delicate and light, finished with the coconut milk, the sauce was just so good, I wanted to get more rice and just eat the curry sauce with lots of rice.
On the side we ordered a few vegetable dishes to help us feel less guilty and trick ourselves to think we were eating our greens. The greens were just an assortment of book choy, string beans, watercress tossed with sweet/spicy stir fry sauce.
For dessert we got 2 to share. First dessert was the sticky rice with fresh mango, coconut ice cram and sesame brittle. I loved the heavy rice texture with the refreshing coconut ice cream and mango. The sesame brittle was that fun 'cherry on top' element.
Other dessert was the green apple and sour mango jelly with watermelon granita, meringue topped with lemongrass foam. This had intriguing flavours but just not enough in terms of quantity on the plate. The granita and pineapple meringue were devine and just not enough of it on the plate.
Overall 15.5/20 I really enjoyed my visit and I think most of my colleagues would agree. The food was fun and good twist on classic Thai dishes. Downside for me was the service was very average and I found the bar snacks to be overpriced for their portion sizes. The food was great but at times it felt like it was $2 per bite and that can feel a bit steep. Price aside, the food is something I would go back for and find enticing.