Lunch in the city just got a little easier thanks to Longrain Canteen. The pop-up from the nearly 20-year-old Little Bourke Street restaurant opens in the former Le Shoppe space today.

Nothing is over $22 at the pop-up, which is open for Thai-inspired takeaway lunches on weekdays and is expected to operate until early spring.

Longrain head chef Long Le is overseeing the canteen’s menu. He tells Broadsheet the takeaway lunch options borrow elements from Longrain dishes and the “flavour profiles are the same”, but there are “little adjustments to make it easier for grab-and-go”. The space has limited seating and customers are encouraged to take their food to-go.

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You’ll find Longrain favourites including the caramelised pork hock with five spice and chilli vinegar (served here on a bun with pickles, coriander and sriracha mayo). There are two grab-and-go salads – a duck and green papaya salad, and a hot and sour prawn salad with glass noodles and fresh herbs – as well as red beef curry with pumpkin and Thai basil, and a red veggie curry with pine mushrooms and baby corn.

There are two desserts to-go for $10 each: a Thai milk tea panna cotta and coconut chocolate mousse.

To drink there’ll be longan juice, canned wines, Chang beer and Thai iced coffee. There’s also a small selection of Asian pantry items including Maepranom brand Thai chilli paste, canned Thai coffee and Longkou brand dried vermicelli, as well as mortars and pestles and mini woks available to purchase.

After “settling very well in the space”, Le sees a lot of potential for the pop-up. He tells Broadsheet the team has left “plenty of empty space on the menu” for future menu items to be added.

The original Longrain restaurant, which opened in 2005, closed in 2020 due to “unresolved lease issues” amid the coronavirus outbreak, then co-owner Lisa Van Haandel told Broadsheet at the time.

During the winter of 2020 it was resurrected by chef and restaurateur Scott Pickett (Matilda, Estelle, Audrey’s), who signed a 20-year lease on the space.

The pop-up is next to Scott Pickett Group’s European bistro Chancery Lane. The team has kept Le Shoppe’s dark oak finishings, copper fixtures and leafy-green subway tiles but has added a neon green Longrain sign above the entrance and window decals depicting fish scales in a nod to the jade-green fish scale tiles found in the original restaurant.

Longrain Canteen
Suite 1/430 Little Collins Street
No phone

Mon to Fri 11am–2.30pm