Music bar turns mainstream
Finally, a reason for us aurally un-lightened types to breach the mental sound barrier into LongPlay. After a year of listening parties and music legend-themed cocktails, The Unlisted Collection's cocktail bar with a sweet vinyl rig takes on a chef to churn out ambitious meals from the tiny open kitchen bar on the Haji Lane end of the long room.
Taking the honour is Chilean expat Jorge Valderrama, whose passages through kitchens in the Southern Hemisphere brings him city-side. Over a two-burner stove, he works in quick-step tandem with a sous chef to turn out seasonal starters, mains, drinking snacks and desserts, applying a deft hand to balancing chiles imported from his home continent, and other times referencing the Thais and Italians.
The tuna carpaccio ($22) is memorable with its ceviche-like punch but another starter of chunky chorizo- and onion-stuffed baby squids ($18) is more one-dimensional. For a warming bowl of Neruda's Caldillo seafood stew ($30) – a Chilean sister to the French's bouillabaise – meaty ling cod fillets bask in a mild, light orange broth built on amarillo and panca peppers, brought here by a Peruvian importer. Bargain-hunting carnivore types will also appreciate the medium-rare hanger ($33) that comes dressed with a spirited parsley-rich chimichurri relish.
With the relative success of the new food items on the menu, we wish the drinks caught up in execution. LongPlay’s homage to Lucille Ball ($22) is too smouldering, pitting too-strong coffee flavours against whiskey, while the cognac-based Marlon Brando ($20) could do with more punch.
The tunes – mostly culled from the ’50s to ’70s – can get too loud for a chat. And a vinyl-serious friend is a little critical of the music programme at LongPlay, because ‘spinning “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” off the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack is decidedly different from putting on a Tamla Motown 7-inch’. But for those who don’t know – or don’t care – it's about time we came in, gawk at the top-of-the-line sound system, then muse in curiosity why they've put a hockey puck on the turntable. And have a meal while doing it.
LongPlay can also be accessed from 33 Arab Street.
4 Haji Lane
|Opening hours:||Tue & Wed 6pm-midnight; Thu-Sun 4pm-midnight|
|Do you own this business?|