Longrain has provided Sydney with top-quality Thai food for the past seven years, as reliable as a summer storm. So the news this week that Longrain plans to open an Indian restaurant called Subcontinent is particularly refreshing.

“We saw that gap,” says Sam Christie, co-owner of Longrain. “We’ve wanted to do it for a long time. The head chef from Longrain is Indian-Chinese, from Calcutta.”

Opening where Shortgrain and the Bunker Bar now stand (underneath Longrain in Surry Hills) in six months’ time, the Longrain team will be applying its philosophy to the cuisine of the Subcontinent: maintaining traditional flavours while adding a lightness that has come to exemplify modern Australian cuisine. “We’ll be offering our own unusual spin on [Indian cuisine], a healthier version with lots of herbs and spices,” says Christie.

The space will remain largely the same (“all the bones of a restaurant are already in there”), and there are tentative plans for gin-and-tonic slushies and snacky items to be on offer in the bar attached to the restaurant. There will be, “More furniture, and we’ll lighten it up,” says Christie.

Happily, it’s not the end of Shortgrain as we know it, just a temporary adieu. “It’s a shame saying goodbye to Shortgrain but hopefully the right opportunity will arise next year. It might be better suited to a high-density area in the city,” says Christie. In the meantime, get your fix at Longrain, which isn’t going anywhere.

longrain.com.au