Brisbane's 'it' restaurant, which will undoubtedly have a long-standing and prosperous future, is none other than Longtime, situated in a hidden laneway in Brisbane's China Town, the restaurant has been driving locals taste buds crazy with their first-class smorgasbord of uniquely crafted asian inspired cuisine.
For those of you out there who are foodies and love your Thai, then you will know coming to Longtime will have you in good hands. Head chef of the establishment is none other than Ben Bertei, whose cv boasts an impressive career at not only renowned asian restaurant Spirit House in Yandina, but also Longrain in Melbourne's Carlton area. Now the coveted resident head chef at Longtime, Ben Bertei will have you settled in for a memorable dining experience.
I had the pleasure of making my way to this venue after I had heard nothing but exceptional reviews and it is not hard to see why, but more about that later. Upon entering the blink-and-you'll-miss-it alley you are greeted with a mini outdoor seating area (best for a few drinks while you wait for a table) adorned with bulb lighting leading all the way to a bronzed, vintage Tuk Tuk.
Heading into Longtime you will notice dim lighting which sets a seductive yet relaxed mood, teamed with a feeling of escape from otherwise mundane reality. The basement-esk dinner hall is a large open space that combines leather-sofa booths and large banquet-style dining tables. There is also seating at the open kitchen which allows you to almost be part of the creative cooking action.
After purchasing a nice cab save and being seated at the bar to dine, I had a look around and was impressed by the turnout. jam-packed each table was in TGIF mode with their knives and forks in full function. Without further ado, my friend and I scanned the menu, eagerly deciding what to eat in this house of flavour.
Green Chicken Curry @ Longtime Restaurant (photo by @neelsmcgee)
After much deliberation, purely with eyes bigger than our stomachs, we decided to share a Green Chicken Curry and their signature Egg Net Salad, along with a serving of their Soft Shell Crab Bao.
First at our fingertips were the Bao's. Biting into these were an absolute sensory treat! The freshness of the crab teamed with a creamy slaw, provided the perfect balance of flavours between salty and sweet. This was one of my stand out items from a contemporary 'Bar Snacks' menu
Next out was the Green Chicken Curry with beansprouts, dill and coriander. This was a nice change from the usual curries I get that are laden with sauce. This one tasted light and fresh and was comprised of three decent pieces of chicken breast (grilled) and adorned with beansprouts that were crunchy and a garish of coriander. This dish also had just the right amount of sauce so there was no waste.
Egg Net Salad with bay prawns, crispy pork belly, green mango and lychees.@ Longtime Restaurant (photo by @neelsmcgee)
Continuing our asian fusion journey was the unique and well-presented Egg Net Salad which recently changed its filling to crispy BBQ pork, green mango, prawns and lychees. I know you might be thinking "how on earth does lycées and prawns go together with egg?" well let me confirm to you, it does and it does damn well.
This dish was quite filling, and was such a mix of flavours that I had not really ever experienced before. It was easy to see why it was a crowd favourite.
Finishing off the culinary journey, we decided to dabble in some sweetness and order the Espresso Pannacotta to share. The dessert came out and we both took a big spoonful. not only was coffee present, but the sweetness of condensed milk, coconut tapioca and salted peanut caramel. Combined harmoniously together (sweet and salty is a match made in heaven) made their dessert the ideal grand finale palette pleaser.
The service at Longtime was very efficient. We had a waitress that ensured we were always taken care of and this was refreshing to see. I cannot fault this venue in the slightest. It is a well-deserved 5 star (yes I am giving it 5 stars) restaurant that already has a cult following that is spreading further ever day. Do yourself a favour, grab a friend or partner and head to Longtiime. You will not be disappointed.
Espresso Pannacotta @ Longtime Restaurant (photo by @neelsmcgee)