The hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s street food has found a home in Perth, and it couldn’t be further from the streets of Pattaya if you tried. Long Chim is in the basement of the very chichi Como Hotel at the State Buildings.
The first thing you notice are the aromas – there is little doubt this is a Thai street-food vendor. Then there’s the gritty street art, the unmistakable sound of green papaya salad being made properly in a wooden mortar and pestle – pok pok pok pok… and the general hubbub of diners, crockery and staff. It’s intoxicating.
Long Chim is the brainchild of David Thompson, the first chef to earn a Michelin star for a Thai restaurant. Green papaya salad, the litmus test of Thai street food, is bang on: spicy, salty, sweet, sour, life-enhancing. It is properly bashed and smashed, rather than just tossed.
Chicken larp is the go to, “I dare you” dish at Long Chim. In Thai terms it’s mild. In Perth it is considered borderline incendiary. And there’s no question, it’s damn hot. But critically, the flavour has not been lost in the heat. This is a well-balanced curry, made well. But you may be crying for your mama at the end of it. It’s not all curries, noodles and stir-fries.
From the grill, Exmouth prawns are a showstopper. Big and meaty, these beauties come served whole in the shell.
Cocktails are exceptional here (see our Top 25 Best Bar listing for more details) and curated by drinks chief James Connolly to complement the food. Lemongrass, ginger and coconut feature heavily. Try the “or tor kor mule” (ginger beer, Thai bitters, lime-leaf vodka).
Whether it’s a full-blown meal or a catch-up under the parasol-covered courtyard for bar snacks and cocktails, Long Chim is Perth’s real deal Thai street food restaurant… without the street.