Sherman's Food Adventures: Longtail Kitchen

Longtail Kitchen

Here we go...  Another re-visit happening less than 3 years since the original one.  However, if we look at it, 3 years is a pretty long time.  Back then, "selfie" was just being added to the dictionary and the cronut (or frissant) was all the rage.  So with that in mind, it was I who suggested a re-visit to Longtail Kitchen when Grace was wondering what to do for lunch.  Besides, with mediocre visits to Freebird and Fat Mao, I was willing to see if Angus An could still produce good food...

We started with a few appies including their "ever-increasing in popularity" Famous Chicken Wings.  If we were to compare these with Phnom Penh, they are neither better or worse as they are merely different.  These featured a slightly thicker and crunchier exterior that was dusted with a concoction that featured plenty of sugar.  This was counteracted by the tart (and also sweet) tamarind dip on the side.  Inside, the chicken was still juicy and completely tender.  Served with a nam jim dip, the Fried Oysters were even better than the wings in my opinion.  Lightly battered and crispy while not greasy, the plump oysters were perfectly prepared.  They were naturally sweet and briny while the "little-of-every-flavour" nam jim added spice, sweetness, tartness and saltiness.

Onto Mama Cheung's Laksa, I had really high expectations because it was relayed to me that this might be the best in the GVRD.  I have to admit it was pretty darn good, but I still hold steadfast that the one at Manis is just as good (and spicier too).  As for this one it was creamy with a good amount of coconut milk that was balanced off by an appealing seafoodiness, nuttiness and the aroma of the spices.  The requisite ingredients were there including tofu puffs, shredded chicken, shrimp, fish balls and egg (which were well-made as well).  The final touch of fried curry leaves and mint only helped heighten the already complex flavours even more so.  

The complex flavours continued with the Chang Mai Curry Noodles with beef.  For some reason or another, this version kicks the one at Fat Mao.  The curry combined the aromatic and creaminess of the coconut milk with spice, spices, sweetness and the crunchy tang of the pickled mustard greens to create a flavour explosion.  I liked how the egg noodles stood up to the moisture and how the crunchy noodles on top added more texture.  However, the real star of the show was the tender and appealingly meaty slices of slow-cooked fatty beef.

With more carbs, we tried the Chinese Sausage Fried Rice topped with a fried egg and green onions.  Although this was blessed with enough wok heat where the rice exhibited a sear and smokiness (and nuttiness too), the whole thing was dripping of grease.  The bottom of the container was lined with a whole layer of oil.  This was probably due to the melted fat from the lap cheung as well as the oil used to stir fry the dish.  As such, it reduced our eating enjoyment somewhat.  Yet, the aforementioned nuttiness of the rice as well as the ample lap cheung did ensure the dish tasted good.

From fried rice to fried noodle, we got the Pad See Ew.  Normally, I like my noodles to be more firm, especially rice noodles.  But this was a touch too chewy for my liking.  In terms of overall execution, this was subjected to a enough wok heat to caramelize the flavours.  With that being said, the dish was pretty sweet though.  The ample veggies and egg did helped even out the sweetness somewhat (and especially the moisture from the greens).

For our one veggie item, we go the Gai Lan with Pork BellyWe enjoyed how they used fresh and quality gai lan where it was vibrant and crunchy without any excess chew.  That was also a direct result of just enough cooking in the wok.  On the other hand, there was far too much moisture at the bottom of the container.  I guess they must've added a tonne of seasoning as the gai lan was still salty and very sweet.  As for the pork belly, it was very fatty, so it didn't do it for me.  I would've liked to see at least some streaks of meat.  With that being said, we were willing to overlook the issues because the food in general rocked.  Hence, there maybe another revisit in the near future...

The Good:
- Impactful and complex flavours
- Good use of wok heat
- Reasonably-priced

The Bad:
- A bit sweet
- Some dishes had either too much moisture and/or grease


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