Mochi was our perfect Melbourne host, painstakingly planning our itinery and arranging our shopping and dining trip. Our Saturday night was a large group event, starting with a late dinner in the form of tapas from The Long Room, followed by more cocktails (we ended up heading to 1806 for that).
A few of us were a bit hesitant about The Long Room as we headed down. It was located downstairs and had a nightclub feel to it. The cuisine was confusing, with a sushi bar immediately visible on the right and Spanish tapas items on the menu. It was East and West, not quite mixing into fusion cuisine, but rather, random dishes of both made available in one place.
We had a booking at a large table near the bar. Drinks were ordered first. I was thirsty for cocktails and went with the recommended Red Velvet (which is supposedly their most popular). Tanya ordered the Pretty in Pink. When the cocktails arrived, I took a sip of mine... and fell in love.
Red Velvet and Pretty in Pink cocktails
I have no hesitation in saying that the Red Velvet at The Long Room is THE BEST cocktail I've ever tasted. It is DELICIOUS! As described, it tastes of summer berries but the vanilla makes it creamy and smooth. I loved the sprinkling of white chocolate on top too. Divine. Tanya's Pretty in Pink was also very tasty. It was lighter and tangier than mine but not too tart. I ended up ordering about 3 or 4 Red Velvets and 1 Pretty in Pink. Later, when Mochi arrived, she requested an apple cinnamon cocktail (not on their menu) and it tasted like freshly baked apple pie... in cocktail form. Reaaaaally yummy.
There was a bit of drama with our guests arriving. Half our party were late and then weren't allowed in due to dress restrictions. Eventually, everyone was admitted but it stuffed around our food orders a bit so essentially, we ordered the food in 2 batches.
We picked various dishes from the tapas menu to try. Most of the items we selected were Spanish, although the pork belly (which our waitress highly recommended) had Asian flavors.
Assorted dip with 3 types of bread
The first to arrive was bread and dip. I was surprised and impressed to see that there were 3 types of bread in the basket. We had lavosh, Turkish bread and roti. The dips were quite typical: tzatziki, hommus and capsicum. It was a great starter though, and perfect for sharing.
Pork belly, prawns, chorizo, meatballs
Our first course of tapas arrived on a large wooden slab. We soon realised that most of the tapas dishes need to be ordered in quantities of 3-4 to allow them to be shared. Those of us who were present at the time had a taste of everything and retained what was good so that we could get more in the second order.
The only thing that really made an impression on me was the pork belly. Most of the tapas items were 'alright' but not too different to say, cutting up some chorizo or rolling up some mince for meatballs at home. The pork belly though was crisp-skinned, sticky fleshed and smoky in flavor. We ordered another 2 plates of this in our next round.
Pork belly, chorizo, mushrooms, prawns, meatballs
When everyone was seated we had another slab of tapas for the table. Along with more serves of pork belly, we had more meatballs, chorizo, prawns and mushrooms. The mushrooms were surprisingly tasty and actually went very well with bread (left over from the bread and dips at the start). The prawns were alright, but I was still unimpressed by the meatballs.
I think that The Long Room is best considered as a cocktail bar. It's got amazing cocktails and feels like a lounge/night club (the music got progressively louder as the night went on). The dress code makes it inconvenient as a dinner location and in any case, the food wasn't spectacular. I have no hesitation in recommending the cocktails though.