[Sponsored] Longrain, an Australian-born, Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant, now has tables in Tokyo. With restaurateur and owner Sam Christie’s carefully chosen wine, cocktails, music, furniture and vibe, the restaurant brings a combination of Japanese and Thai dishes with a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, sour and salty.
Longrain opened on August 26th on the top floor of Yebisu Garden Place Tower. On stepping into the restaurant, it feels as if you’ve just escaped the towering buildings and the bustling Ebisu Station. Canopy-like lights hang over the large bar while the warm and dark wooden dining space gives off a cozy atmosphere throughout the restaurant. Both the booths and individual tables, which seat 160 people, are all considerably spacious and comfortable. (We recommend a seat beside a window.)
Executive Chef of Longrain Sydney and Tokyo, Griff Pamment, creates beautiful and creative modern Thai dishes. The chef was born and raised in Sydney, whose love for Thai food drove him to become a chef, and ultimately motivated him to work at Longrain. Three other chefs from Japan were chosen to train with him at the venues in Sydney and Melbourne, and have brought home with them the techniques and knowledge to create the dishes offered at Longrain.
Every dish that appeared before my eyes was colorful and gorgeous. The appetizer that first arrived was delicate – Betel leaves topped with a mixture of shrimp, peanut sauce, watermelon, and mint. Just one bite, and I felt all the ingredients bursting with flavor, one right after the other. The Betel leaves are known in Southeast Asia for their cleansing effect. The golden combination of shrimp and peanut sauce spreads in the mouth at first, but the leaves surrounding the mixture envelope the flavor itself, and create a soothing starter (1P/￥400).
The second dish arrived while I was still lingering on the betel leaves’ calming smell. Green curry. How can one speak of Thai food without this dish? Longrain serves three different types of curry — vegetable, green and beef — that are equally spicy. The one served before me was green curry topped with a huge and juicy prawn. Even a whiff of the curry was breathtaking, and you can taste the complex mixture of spice (and everything nice) to the last drop. The summer vegetables inside were so fresh that I could feel the okra and Thai eggplant bursting with flavor and texture with each bite (Full/¥3,200, Half/¥1,920).
The restaurant’s name “Longrain” comes from “long grain.” The drier and longer rice grain compared to its Japanese counterpart is the main protagonist of Thai cuisine. The meals all perfectly complement the bowl of rice while retaining their individual, punchy flavors.
Most eye-catching of all the dishes was the “Eggnet” bean sprout salad. A mysterious blanket of egg cooked into a shape of a net lay atop the bean sprout salad (Full /￥2,300, Half/￥1,380). The full plate serves 2 to 3 people. This “eggnet” salad wrapped up the healthy main course.
Finally, the dessert arrived. The fig and lychee ice cream were beautifully placed over their butter oat biscuit crumble. The biscuits and coconut and raspberry ripple ice cream gave additional sweetness to the ripe figs and lychee simply cut in half (¥1,600).
Their original cocktail Ping Pong had lots of juicy lychees immersed in the tangy passion fruit and vodka-based drink.
Lunch is also offered at a more reasonable price than the dinner menu, featuring a menu based on noodles.
“We want to make sure our dishes keep evolving,” Pamment commented. “For every season we want our dishes to have something new.” This modern Thai restaurant will surely bring the freshest ingredients and ideas for every season and keep on creating something new for every visit.
Longrain: Yebisu Garden Place Tower 39F, 4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5424-1300. Mon-Fri 11am-4pm (Lunch)/5:30pm-11pm (Dinner), Sat, Sun, Hol. 11:30am-11pm. Website