“Why not both?”
The cute girl’s words in the El Paso ads echoed in my head as I sat down to write this week’s review.
When eating out, once we’re burned out at a restaurant — grumpy service or sand in the salad — we probably rule them out forever. But if you go against your better judgment and test the water and get dumped again, it only gets more disappointing.
I emailed someone this week to say they had been to one of my highly regarded review locations and had a disappointing experience every time. I’ve also been to restaurants that have only received rave reviews and left me feeling unwell and unwell.
Then there are both places – one time beyond words and the other average.
Long Chim, the bustling basement in The State Buildings, is where I’ve had meals that have left me thinking for days and some forgettable ones.
Camera iconLong Chim in the state buildings. Credit: delivered/unknown
Eating there this week rekindled my love for the restaurant, and I got into town mid-week (hello, free parking).
Upon entering, you quickly forget you are in the beautifully restored government buildings. It’s a little dingy in the best way, but the playlist is great and feels energetic.
We tried to tick all the bases for protein, starting with Salted Kingfish with Shallot, Chili, and Herbs ($20) and Chicken Satay with Peanuts and Turmeric ($16).
Camera IconLong Chim: Salted Kingfish with Shallot, Chilli, and Herbs ($20). Credit: Jade Jurewicz
The kingfish, brimming with heat, was served as fresh mini lettuce cups and was one of the best dishes I’ve eaten this year. The satay was also a hit, with tender and well-charred chicken sliding off the skewer, lightly covered in a nutty satay. However, the dipping sauce, full of heat and flavor, made the dish.
Camera Icon Chicken Satay with Peanuts and Turmeric ($16). Credit: Jade Jurewicz
For mains, the grilled Dorper lamb ribs with chili, cumin, and coconut cream ($36) were tender meat in a full and rich sauce that fell off the bone. A serving of rice and the accompanying pickled onions helped break up the delicious yet intense richness.
Camera IconGrilled Dorper Lamb Ribs with Chili, Cumin, and Coconut Cream ($36). Credit: Jade Jurewicz
Rice Noodles with Chinese Broccoli, Soy, Egg, and Bean curd ($26) were thick and thick noodles, vegetables, tofu, and egg covered in a salty and slightly sweet sauce. Even after I was full, I kept returning for another tasty bite.
So if there’s one restaurant that made you wonder if you should go back, this is your sign of giving it another chance because, like Long Chim, it could be both.
State Buildings, Barrack St &, St Georges Terrace, Perth
The Verdict: Buzzy basement space with great atmosphere and food. Expect a good dose of heat, easy to cool down with a delicious cocktail, and leave feeling full.