Taste of Asia: Mamak and Longrain are must tries
If you or your date has a craving for Asian food, you won’t be disappointed in the centre of Sydney or Melbourne. But with so much choice, the date hub team wanted to do the hard work for you. We went to two fantastic restaurants, one featuring all the flavours of South East Asia and the other championing Malaysian cuisine, to ensure: ‘pick a great restaurant’ goes off your dating to do list. The below restaurants also sit at different price points, so whatever your budget, we can guarantee the food won’t disappoint.
Authenticity that won’t break the bank: Mamak
What you need to know: Cost for two - $50 - $80 BYO - $2 corkage pp
If you’re after a restaurant that will transport you to the streets of Malaysia, look no further than Mamak. This fast-paced eatery is a favourite amongst late night revellers due to its long opening hours and moreish food, but if it’s a fun, interesting date location you’re after, we feel you can’t go past Mamak. The curries and rotis are to die for, and with mains sitting at the $17 mark, it definitely won’t break the bank.
One downside for daters may be that this institution doesn’t take bookings and sometimes the line to get a table is daunting. But every cloud has a silver lining because we think people watching and anticipation is a great way to break the ice on a date. The line also moves quite quickly and if you time your night right, say rocking up at around 6 pm or after a movie at 8:30 pm – 9 pm, you may not even have to wait.
Picking favourites from this menu is tough, but if you’re insisting, we can’t go past the Kari kambing: Spicy lamb curry slow-cooked until tender and Ayam Goreng: Malaysian-style fried chicken, marinated with herbs and spices. Partner these mains with Roti planta: A rich buttery roti, and we can ensure your date will be a winner.
Chinatown Sydney: 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, Sydney. Phone: (02) 9211 1668 Dinner: 5:30pm - 10:00pm | Supper til 2am (Friday & Saturday) No reservations
Chatswood: Shop P9, 1-5 Railway Street, Chatswood 2067. Phone: (02) 9411 4411 Dinner 5:30 - 9:30 (10:30pm on Friday & Saturday) No reservations
Melbourne: 366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 3000. Phone: (03) 9670 3137 Dinner 5:30 - 9:30 (10:30pm on Friday & Saturday) No reservations
Stylish and sophisticated: Longrain
What you need to know: Cost for two - $90 - $200 No BYO.
If you’re looking for the ultimate sophisticated date night, Longrain is the place for you. This romantic, dimly lit space is generally buzzing on a Friday and Saturday night, and while often you’ll be seated at the large timber share table, this restaurant is as intimate as it gets. All dishes are designed to share, and the fresh flavours are guaranteed to please almost everyone.
Bookings are encouraged because Longrain is very popular. While there is no BYO at this fine establishment, the cocktail list is must check out, top of our hit list is the Rangoon Racquet Club: Made up of Tanqueray gin, fino sherry, raspberry, lemongrass syrup, kaffir lime, fresh lemon.
Our favourite dishes would have to be the Betel leaves with spanner crab, mango, chilli and mint, to start, followed by the dry red curry duck, with Thai eggplant, wild ginger, green peppercorn, holy basil, and the whole crispy fried snapper coated with tamarind, chilli and lime. Another favourite also has to be the salt and pepper silken tofu with sweet soy and lime. While on the pricier side of the spectrum if you have a special occasion, or are out to impress, our advice is to get a booking here ASAP.
Sydney: 85 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills. Phone: (02) 9280 2888 Dinner: Mon- Fri 6pm – late Sat & Sun 5.30pm – late firstname.lastname@example.org
Melbourne: 40-44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne. Phone: (03) 9671 3151 Dinner: Mon - Thurs 6pm – late Fri - Sun 5:30pm – late email@example.com
For more information on either one of these restaurants - see their websites below.