Longplay Bistro has been a long time coming. When Broadsheet catches up with co-owner Marshall King (Clever Little Tailor, Pink Moon Saloon, Brighter Later), he explains opening night has been pushed back a day because of another new arrival. “Cal [Horn] (our co-head chef) had a baby on Sunday, which ’kinda stretched us a little,” he laughs.

Longplay is shooting for a European bistro feel, with a few personal quirks. The venue is still new, but King wants it to become an institution. “We want to develop dishes like our venison tartare [served with house crisps] into real house classics,” he says.

The menu is playful but simple. “We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just making a really nice wheel,” King says.

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The one-page menu comfortably straddles both daytime and night-time services. There’s French-inspired ox tongue with gribiche, radish and chive. A dry-aged 300-gram ribeye with béarnaise. And the more Aussie-sounding King George whiting with green sauce.
King says that pulling a strong weekday crowd is crucial for Longplay and “No-one wants to be overwhelmed with a 50-item menu when you sit down for a one-hour lunch.”

Co-head chefs Calum Horn and Jude Hughes (both ex-The Summertown Aristologist) are no strangers. King says, “Each brings a different attack to the kitchen”, and their existing chemistry means the menu feels expansive and cohesive at the same time.

Given the owners’ bar pedigrees, it stands to reason the extensive drinks list is a mixtape of global hits, with “an unashamed emphasis on the wines we love to drink ourselves.”

The team originally wanted to open a music venue, but the Pirie Street spot, with a sweeping 14-meter-long bar, instantly felt like a bistro.

From there it was eight weeks of constant learning as the crew traded corkscrews for sledgehammers and converted the hitherto shabby site. “It was fairly yucky, but felt within our powers to regenerate,” King says. The result is slick, understated, and just the right amount of rough around the edges, with polished floors, a striking yellow curtain and tabletops hand-cut from a ton of Tasmanian blackwood.

There’s no AUX cord at Longplay. Rather, a vintage Technics SL-1200 MK2 turntable sits on the bar pumping tunes through a custom Funktion-One sound system. Longplay’s vinyl (get it) spins from start to finish; the staff curates nightly sets (mainly jazz and funk) from the house collection.

“We talked about ambience a lot and the wholeness of the experience,” King says. “We wanted it to feel like dinner at a friend’s house but your host has an amazing wine cellar, is an incredible chef and also has a huge record collection,” King says.

Longplay Bistro
131 Pirie Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Wed to Fri 11.30am–3pm, 6pm–late
Sat & Sun 6pm–late