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85 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel : +61 2 9280 6888
Cuisine: Modern Asian, Thai
License: Fully Licensed (no BYO)
Price Range: $$
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Finally those inner-city hipsters don’t have to wait for a place at the long communal table to get a fix of Martin Boetz's modern Thai. Shortgrain is the casual dining canteen version of Longrain that sits beneath the original restaurant in Surry Hills. Stop by to pick up the fantastic and refreshing flavours Boetz is known so well for to take back to work or home for dinner

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Situated off Hunt Street opposite the Hotel Hollywood. Below Longrain and with street level access.

Shortgrain offers seating for up to 18 for casual, ‘canteen’ style food or you can choose to take-away. Martin Boetz’s Longrain Produce range is also stocked here, including curry pastes and relishes.

It’s not often that you can visit a Hatted restaurant without breaking a $20 note... Well, I had better come clean – perhaps Shortgrain hasn’t received the famed toque – but its upstairs counterpart and older brother, Longrain Restaurant, certainly has and the food here is almost as impressive.

A changing daily menu features about six items – maybe a curry, a couple of salads, soup and dumplings. On the menu for my dining partner and I is a collection of classic Thai curries, larb of pork and prawn and, the dish that catches my eye, the silken tofu with tamarind and sesame. My dining partner and I decide to share a beef massaman curry and silken tofu. Both dishes, despite the affordable price tag, were huge. The piping-hot massaman, served with rice, hit the spot on this wintry Monday lunch. The meat was tender and succulent and the curry rich, without being too heavy. And lashings of coriander and chilli are the perfect balance to the coconut milk creaminess. But the silken tofu, that is the standout. A caramel tamarind dressing coats the airy tofu chunks and julienned pieces of fresh ginger, chilli and cucumber create texture with each mouthful. The nuttiness of the lightly toasted white sesame seeds leaves a sweet, distinct aftertaste which coaxes you to keep going back for more. And more. And more.

And not only do we get to sample some of Martin Boetz’s classic modern Thai flavours, we also get to take them home in a jar. Ready-made products (curry pastes and pickles galore) are all available for purchase.

Anna Lisle
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