It’s a tidy coincidence that the newly opened Longtail, named in homage to the traditional river-plying boat unique to these parts, happens to be situated at the Customs House, a place that was once a shipping focal point in the colonial days – it isn’t just mere consonance that this contemporary chic semi-bar and restaurant has going for it.
In addition to a front-row view of the Marina Bay area (with sister establishment Saba Fine Thai just next door), it’s got some serious foodie chops, made exciting with the introduction of a trio of Indochine cuisines – Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese.
While the South-East Asian-inspired drinks, infused with ingredients such as kumquat, ginger and lemongrass, and happy hour prices (mojitos and beers are Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar half-priced from 4-8pm, Mon-Sat) are reasons enough to shoehorn it into the popular post-work CBD watering hole category, don’t miss out on solid food options, which are inspired by street food from all three countries and presented prettily on rustic wooden boards and earthenware with a modern slant.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, however. The selection of bar bites, for instance, are big on flavour – try the fluffy Thai green curry chicken bao ($7/two), buns filled with a piquant comb of green curry and tender chicken chunks and Kao Saan Road beef jerky ($14), accompanied by sticky rice and a chilli dip.
Traditionalists can’t go wrong with the sweat-inducing Tam Mak Hoong ($14), a fiery papaya salad of Laotian origin that comes with fermented fish and rice noodles, but there are some fusion options as well – the Soi spaghetti with mixed seafood ($18) is an interesting take that sees a smooth creamy base of condensed milk infused with Thai basil.
While you’re at it, get dessert – the Hanoi Sago is a competent enough rendition of the real thing, but the triumph here is how Longtail has successfully melded good food and drinks into one common entity; far too many new joints these days sacrifice one for the other. Lee Min Kok
|Venue name:||Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar||Contact:|
#01-03 Customs House
70 Collyer Quay
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm|