Shortgrain, Surry Hills
My last visit to Longrain was quite a memorable one. Company and food were both excellent. So when I heard that Shortgrain was opening, I was quite keen to try. Shortgrain is the sister restaurant of Longrain Thai Restaurant started by chef Martin Boetz. It is a more casual dining place, it only has up to 18 seats and has a ‘street style vibe’. Menu changes daily, it’s a lot shorter, slightly cheaper and consists of curries and salads.
I came here with a dear friend of mine S. Lunch is open from 11 to 3pm and for a Friday lunch it was relatively busy. I rocked up just before 1pm and was lucky enough to get seats. The only table available is the communal table (consistent with the Longrain communal theme). There are no menus, all the dishes are written on the blackboard, so you order at the counter and food will be served to your table.
The prices are a lot cheaper, majority of the dishes are less than $20. I really wanted the chicken wings ($2.50 each) – a tad pricey but the group of guys next to us had at least a dozen and they look absolutely superb! Damn it – must go earlier next time to get those chicken wings!
On the table already, condiments of chili, lemon and spices.
I couldn’t go past the crispy pork and smoked mussel salad ($16) – WOW! There is a reason why I love pork! The crispy pork was deliciously tender and I love the slither of crispy skin. The smoked mussel was also tender all served with fresh vegetables and topped with mint. I love the sweet chili sauce that accompanied it, it was light and excellent.
We thought we would get a serving of fish dumping with sweet chili sauce ($12). Four perfectly round fried fish dumplings. A little pricey for what is it $3 each!
However, I love the crumbs, it was thin and crispy with a tad of salt and the fish was moreish and tasty and dipped in sweet chili sauce and drizzled with lemon was oh so wonderful.
S couldn’t go past the Massaman curry of beef ($15). The beef was incredibly tender that it just melted in my mouth. The curry had light coconut-y taste and was served with peanuts on a mountain of rice.
I really do like Shortgrain. Definitely looking forward to trying their other dishes. Takeaway is available if you don’t have time to dine or if the place is busy.
About two – three weeks ago, I met a friend DC for lunch at Longrain. We both couldn’t go past the caramelised pork hock with five spice and chili vinegar ($33.50) – wow! The pork hock was tender, gooey, and oh so very sweet with a hint of spice. Considering how DC and I both love pork, we fought for every single piece!
DC couldn’t go past with ocean trout, green papaya and chili salad with lemongrass and chili jam ($38). A bit price-y but it was one of the nicest ocean trout ever! We noticed other diners around us having the exact dish. The ocean trout was delicate and wonderful and I love the green papaya and chili salad. Everything was so fresh and light. We both demolished the dish. Unfortunately, for the life of me, I have lost the photo! grrrrr so you will just have to trust DC and I that it was an awesome dish!
Part of the cocktail bar has moved downstairs adjacent to Shortgrain. It’s been a while since I had a cocktail at Longrain, thankfully it’s just around the corner, no doubt I will visit soon!
A couple of addition to Shortgrain – I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been here since my last post. Even if it’s just for take away, however, have not yet had the fried chicken wings!!!! The larp of pork and prawn with Vietnamese mint and roasted rice ($15). Larp is made with minced meat (in this case pork) then cooked in dressing, which includes coriander, mint, and dish comes from the northeast of Thailand. Eaten together with a few raw vegetables like cucumber, long beans or iceberg lettuce or witlof (as served). The combination of pork and prawn was perfect, and eaten with witlof was wonderful. I love the freshness of the dish, the coriander, mint, onions and fresh chili, and the combination of delicious sweet, sour and salty elements.
The green curry with fish dumplings ($15) looked too good to past. There was a strong coconut milk flavour, it was thick, creamy with a hint of chili. The fish dumplings I loved, very similar to the fish dumplings with sweet chili sauce I had previously. They were deliciously plump and moreish and a wonderful complement to the green curry. I could have easily eaten half a dozen!
The Barossa chicken, Chinese broccoli and ginger ($18) was not what we expected. It is actually a soup and the broth is full of flavour with coriander and thin shreds of ginger. The chicken was large and tender and a little messy to eat but it was well worth it.
The pumpkin Thai salad with dried shrimps, onions and coriander and ginger was ($12) was excellent. It was served at room temperature, the pumpkin was tender and full of flavour. Definitely one of my favourite pumpkin salads!
I am determined to go and try that fried chicken wings, hopefully will visit again soon. Please note that Shortgrain is only open on weekdays for lunch.
GA’s ratings: Shortgrain: 7.5 / 10
GA’s ratings: Longrain: 7.5 / 10
10 Hunt St
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9280 2888
85 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9280 2888