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Longrain, Melbourne

44 Little Bourke Street
Australia 3000
Tel: 61 3 9671 3151's insider take:

An offshoot of the hip Sydney restaurant of the same name, this über-trendy Thai/southern Chinese eatery occupies a converted horse stable in Chinatown. Though the open kitchen is helmed by Ben Cooper, executive chef Martin Boetz's finger is firmly in the pie, and many of his signature Sydney dishes are on the menu here: betel leaf with smoked trout; salmon roe and galangal; and the delectable dry red-curried duck. Another standout dish pairs fried whole soft-shell mud crabs with a green mango salad. Reservations are accepted at lunch but not dinner. Go early and chill in the cocktail bar with a Bloody Longrain—a spicy Thai take on a Bloody Mary—while you wait for a table. And be prepared to cozy up to your neighbors; most of the seating is communal.

No lunch Saturdays and Sundays.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.