The Gaya Applecross.
I like this place, but before i talk about the food here i want to explain my view on “fine dining”. Generally I steer away from it. The main reason being the price and the other being its really hit and miss. Inherently Korean Food is humble, it has bold flavours and is a hearty cuisine. Inherently fine dining is a western thing. The concept of entree, main course and dessert stems from western influence. So when you try translate a cuisine into a fine dining experience the restaurant runs the risk of forgetting the original idea. A very good example of a cuisine that translates well into fine dining is Japanese Food. The delicate and intricate aspect of Japanese cuisine helps the transition.
While we were waiting to order we received some free food! which is always a good way to start a meal :) Fish cake pancake with some spice mayo. Tasted really good but free food always tastes better.
So for people who don’t know what Japchae normally looks like:
At the Gaya the japchae has been wrapped in a crispy crepe and pan fried. This was really clever and a real pleasant surprise. The japchae still tasted like the original thing but the addition of the crepe made it something special.
Kimchi cheese pancake.
I’ve had kimchi jeon with cheese before and there is something about the combination of kimchi and cheese that is bomb diggity.. the pancake was delicious and was the legit stuff and the cheese augmented the experience.
Korean fried chicken is a pretty notorious for young Korean people. It’s cheap and it goes with beer, the rest can be left to the imagination. This is tasty buuuuuuuuut you can by this sort of stuff for a fraction of the price and it would taste about the same.
More Free Moneyyyyyyyy. Banchan.
Normally in a Korean meal you would get an assortment of side dishes (Banchan) with your meal. KImchi and beansprouts are the main things you see. The Gaya style banchan is white kimchi, Korean-style Shumai, and pasta salad. I like this it really creates a nice tasting platter between the entree and the main course. I’ve think they’ve nailed fine dining Banchan with these creation.
Braised Beef Short Rib.
I was a little confused with this dish. While the flavours of the stock were very asian, the way it was presented was really western. The ribs came with roasted potatoes and carrots. I loved the taste of this dish and was satisfied but i felt like the integrity of this dish was lost. This is a personal preference thing and i would prefer to have something more korean-esque.
Sous Vide Pork Belly.
PORK BELLY!!! For people who don’t know me, Pork belly is my favourite. Its the shiz. Korean Pork Belly is especially a favourite. The pork here tasted like the pork belly you would get at a Korean BBQ restaurant. BUT there was a lot of other stuff around it that i don’t think it needs. For me I prefer Pork belly with kimchi and some gochujang.
Bulgogi Hot pot.
This was the best main of the night in my opinion and is the most traditional of all the mains. i’ll come back and have this for sure.
So i can be pretty slow sometimes and only half way through eating this i realised that the “misu” part meant tiramisu…… And being the wanker that i am i announced to the table like i was freaking Einstein… What a toss pot. Stupid hipster talk aside this was an awesome dessert. Really pretty as well.
House-made Green Tea Ice Cream
The only thing i need to say is HOME-MADE GRENN TEA ICE CREAM. My freaking jam.
The whole experience was awesome, the food is good, the staff are friendly and the bathrooms are like resort hotel. The only thing that annoyed me about this place is i kept on thinking “I would prefer to eat the dish in it’s traditional form”. The chef at this restaurant knows how to make Korean food very very well and i almost wish that he/she would ditch the un-needed garnishes and sauces and just keep it simple. If this was a normal Korean restaurant i would go reallllllly often. As a fine dining restaurant this place is wonderful and i will return for special occasions. Awesome night and people should try this place!!!
Address: Shop 3 & 4, 3 Kearns Crescent Ardross.