Longrain Restaurant & Bar, Sydney

 from smh.com.au

Kind of Food: Chinese / Thai
Price: Mains between 25 - 40 AUD
Points on the NOM-Scale: *** (1/2 *)

Back in january, we spent our last days of our visit in Australia in Sydney. So we celebrated the last 4 days with plenty of good food. We spent our first evening at Longrain. Located in the artsy quarter Surry Hills, Longrain is placed in a 110-year old converted warehouse featuring a bar and a dining area. We only spent the evening in the restaurant, but the cocktails first of all their stick drink with muddled fresh fruit, vodka and ice are known to be pretty decent.

German chef Martin Boetz serves southern chinese and thai inspired food in a place with a puristic and industrial interior left by the old warehouse, but not cold in atmosphere rather warming accompanied by 
thoughtful and kind waiters. It was no problem arriving there without reservation as they take only reservations for lunch and the private dining room. There are three communal wooden dinig tables with at least 20 seats each "encouraging asian-style banquet dinig". Usually I don't like being seated with people I don't know, but as part of the Longrain experience I gave it a go and I must admit that even if two ladies were seated right in front of us it was really nice. Longrain is a place known for sharing food with your group mates so that you can experience all four different tastes hot, sour, salty and sweet in different combinations.

We had Caramelised pork hock with five spices & chilli and Red curry of grass fed beef with green peppercorns & thai basil both served with steamed jasmin rice. We chose wine recommended by the waitress, which was a good choice nicely accompanying our food.

The meals were really good, I think it was actually the best asian food I've ever eaten. I liked the pork hock more than the red curry, the combination of the sweet pork with the hot and sour vinegar was a really welcoming sweet and sour combination. The meat was perfectly done inside and nice crisp outside. The curry was really delicious too, but the pork hock left a pretty stunning impression. Since some restaurants aren't able to cook rice properly the jasmin rice was cooked well with a good bite.

I definitely recommend a visit at Longrain and I hope more asian inspired restaurants like this will open in germany soon. The prices in Longrain are reasonably but not an everyday meal. I really liked the interior with the clear design and the service. If I lived in Sydney, I would visit Longrain often.
And for the Melbournians: since 2005 Longrain Melbourne is located in central CBD.

Longrain Bar & Restaurant


85 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9280 2888


44 Little Bourke St
VIC 3000
(03) 9671 3151

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Lavender Ice Cream

With plenty of my homemade yoghurt in the fridge and my new ice cream maker smiling at me I combined both incidents to a completely delicious ice cream. It's the first time I made ice cream with a machine and I had never such an amazing creamy result. Whilst heating up the sugar and heavy cream mixture I remembered the lavender which I bought recently, so I threw a spoonful of it in and so the yoghurt lavender ice cream was born. The alcohol is used to enhance the creamy consistency and it gives a nice bang to the ice cream too ;) But it's up to you if you go alcohol-free since there might be children around. And a notice for using lavender: don't use too much since lavender could cause headaches in higher concentrations!

Next time I'm going to substitute orange or lemon zest for the lavender. So an orange liquer like Cointreau or lemon liquer, maybe Limoncello could work very well with it.
Ooooh I see, this will be a nice summer romance with me and the ice cream maker... or a love triangel with me the ice cream maker and our barbecue ;)

Yoghurt Lavender Ice Cream yields ~ 500g ice cream

300g yoghurt
200ml heavy cream
100g sugar
1 tbsp lavender
1 tbsp brandy

Heat heavy cream and sugar on medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved, add the lavender and let it simmer around 5 minutes occasionally stirring and allow to cool completely. You can pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard the lavender, but I'm a lazy person so I skipped this part. When cooled completely stir the cream with the yoghurt until well combined.

Next Step Using Ice Cream Maker

Pour in your ice cream maker and follow the instructions according to your machine. Pour in a container and store in the refrigerator until use.

Next Step Without Ice Cream Maker

Pour in a container and freeze in the refrigerator. Stirring the mixture every hour until completely frozen.

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Homemade Yoghurt

Since I'm enthusiastic about homemade food, especially of basic food, I was thrilled to find a recipe for homemade yoghurt in my new Moro cookbook . Meanwhile the first batch is almost gone and I'm planning to make the second one with a different style of yoghurt culture. Making your own yoghurt is very easy and satisfying. I ate my yoghurt this week plain, seasoned with cinnamon and diced apples and, with rhubarb in season, a rhubarb compote (see recipe below). Today I made a batch of yoghurt lavender ice cream with my new ice cream maker - absolutely delicious. Of course the recipe will follow as soon I screened the photos ;)

Homemade Yoghurt yields 1kg yoghurt
adapted from The Moro Cookbook

2 litres full-fat milk
300ml double cream
150g live yoghurt

Place the milk in a large pot, making sure there's still a little room upwards. Bring to boil, turn the heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. It's important to stir constantly to prevent the milk sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Remove the pot from heat and transfer the milk to a bowl. Stir in the cream until well combined. Allow to cool until you can hold your finger in the milk and count to ten, then add the yoghurt and stir well. If the milk is too hot the bacteria may be killed. If it is not hot enough it will take a lot longer to set. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for about 8 hours or over night, until set. The yoghurt will keep in the fridge for seven to ten days.

Rhubarb Compote 2 servings

4 stalks rhubarb, cut in 1cm long pieces
100ml water
2 tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in a small pot over medium high heat. Let it simmer until the water is almost evaporated and the rhubarb is soft. Allow to cool completely. Put yoghurt in bowls and spoon the rhubarb compote over.

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Morrocan Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are one of the most popular Moroccan condiments and they are used in many dishes like tajines, couscous or salads. They are pickled in their own juice with plenty of salt and different spices and only the peel is used.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons 750mL glass jar

6 organic lemons
coarse sea salt
a few coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 red chilli

Clean the lemons under water and dry them. Cut off the round spot where the stem sat and make two large slices in X shape stopping 1 cm from the bottom. Pack the salt into the incisions, about 1 tbsp per lemon. Put the salted lemons in a clean, large glass jar and add the spices.

Press the lemons very firmly to get the juices flowing. Cover and let stand over night. The next 2-3 days repeat pressing until the lemons are completely covered with liquid. If the lemons aren't juicy enough add a little bit extra lemon juice. After one month the preserved lemons are soft and ready to use. Rinse before using to remove excess salt. They'll keep in the fridge at least 6 months.

Recipes using preserved lemons:
Isreaeli Couscous with Butternut Squash & Preserved Lemons
Preserved Lemon & Spring Vegetable Risotto With Grilled Shrimp
Chicken Tajine With Preserved Lemons, Green Olives & Golden Raisins
Hearty Red Lentil & Preserved Lemon Soup

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Delicious Veggie Burger

Monday again... the weekend too short as always. We bought us Final Fantasy XIII on saturday, so we stayed the time after that on our couch in front of the TV (Chocobo is sooo damn cute!) ;) In addition I had to check out two new cookbooks I've ordered at amazon. Both from famous restaurants located in London (.... ooh, I need to spend a weekend there soon ;) ...): Ottolenghi and Moro. Both books feature mediterranean and middle-eastern recipes: tapas, mezze, couscous etc.... the recipes sounds delicious and I hope I can try them soon!

Veggie Burgers yields six big patties
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

 2 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 hand full of parsley and cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of one lemon
1 cup micro sprouts - I used a prepacked mix, chopped
1 cup toasted bread crumbs (I dried a whole wheat bun and made crumbs out of it)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Puree chickpeas, eggs and salt until its very thick and still a little bit chunky. Pour the mixture in a bowl and stir in the herbs, onion, lemon zest and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs and let it sit for around 5 minutes. So the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. If the mixture is too wet add more bread crumbs. Form the chickpea dough into patties. Take a pan with a fitting lid, add the oil and heat it on middle high heat. Add patties and cook with lid on on both sides for around 8 minutes until nicely browned.

I served them on whole wheat buns topped with hummus, micro sprouts and tomato slices. Grilled vegetables like eggplants and zucchini would be nice too as well as avocado or caramelized onions. The variation of sauces are endless, but the next time I make these burgers I'll try baba ganoush or a mango chutney.

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Easter Weekend

We spent some time at the Luisenpark located in Mannheim Good Friday afternoon. We saw spring flowers, farm animals and many people enjoying their day off. While wandering around I left some prepared dough at home for a loaf of the traditional Hefezopf. It's a sweet bread commonly baked at Easter, but the basis recipe I'll show you below is suitable for raising buns etc. too!

Hefezopf one loaf

500g flour
250mL milk
50g sugar
1/2 cube fresh yeast
75g butter at room temperature
1 egg at room temperature
1egg for coating
1 tbsp salt
almond slivers

Heat the milk until lukewarm, pour in a bowl and add the sugar and the yeast and mix with a spoon until combined, let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then add the egg and whisk it together. Sift the flour in a large bowl and pour in the milk egg mixture, add the soft butter and salt and knead the dough until smooth and glossy. This should take about 10 minutes. At this step you can add raisins and other dried fruit, whatever suits you best. Now grab a clean and moistened towel, cover the bowl and put it on a warm and not drafty place. After 2 hours the dough should have doubled in size. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for another 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough in three equal portions and shape each into long strands and form a nice braid. Transfer on a baking rack lined with parchment paper and let it rise for another 30 minutes with the moisted towel atop. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). After 30 minutes coat the top with a mixture of egg and a pinch of salt and sugar each. Sprinkle with almond slivers and put it into the oven for about 45 minutes, after 25 minutes reducing the temperature to 180°C (350°F).
An idea for variation is to flavor the milk used in this recipe. I added a good amount of orange zest, but you can substitute the orange zest for lemon zest. Another variation is to substitute the milk for coconut milk.

I discovered that the hefezopf tasted even better one day old. But a warm slice of it topped with clotted cream and some strawberry jam - oh yum!

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