Tyron Simon has come a long way since opening Longtime, a celebrated slice of Brisbane’s restaurant history, on a shoestring in 2014. After five years of serving up Brisbane’s best Thai food, Simon announced in 2019 that Longtime was to become a function space, in order for him to open Same Same, across the road from boutique hotel The Calile.
Although Same Same feels similar (but different) to Longtime, the influence of The Calile imposes throughout – most notably in the design: it was presided over by in-demand Brisbane architects Richards and Spence (who also designed The Calile). Gone are the dark digs, funky placemats, timber tables and quirky mismatched pieces of crockery. In their place are great runs of concrete, cream brick and vermiculate, arranged with Richards and Spence’s typical precise geometry. The standout features are the central kitchen and an enormous, tightly arched ceiling on the righthand side of the venue, under which sits a long communal table.
On a busy night Same Same buzzes much like Longtime did, but with 20 fewer seats it comes without quite the same degree of organised chaos. Same Same has a slower style of service and a nuanced 140-bottle wine list. An upstairs green-tiled bar, Los, with its 110-bottle long list of tequilas – is designed as its own destination but also makes for a comfortable space in which to wait for a table.
On the menu there’s grilled chicken with lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, ginger and shallots, and grilled pork neck served with toasted rice, spring onion, chilli and fish sauce. Other dishes, such as the beef short rib and the som tum, have been refined or given more spice, a result of local diners’ growing familiarity with a more authentic style of Thai cuisine.