The Gaya, Applecross

IMG_3479 I have been to the Gaya once previously, it was pleasant and I didn’t think too much of it then. This time when head chef and owner Leo invited me to dine, I thought, why not. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with one of my good friends, Zoya who is always open to trying different foods, like modern Korean fusion.

Before we even ordered, the waitress brought out a complementary starter of homemade potato chips and cheese puffs. The homemade potato chips were a great snack, but the cheese puffs were a little strange, but we ate them all up quickly.

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Zoya and I started with the Beef Cream Roll ($15) and the Seafood Jijimi ($15). I ordered the Beef Cream Roll as I had heard great reviews about it, and it didn’t disappoint. This was my favourite savoury dish of the night, and although the ingredients sounded strange at first with fried garlic chips, asparagus, enoki mushrooms, capsicum, cucumber and cream cheese, wrapped up in beef, it worked very well.

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The Seafood Jijimi is more of a traditional Korean style pancake with spring onion, onions, carrot, squid and fish. Unlike other Korean pancakes I’ve had, this one was full of fresh ingredients and was cooked evenly, it was not too oily or soggy in the middle as some can be.

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For mains we decided on the 36Pork ($32) and the Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi ($32). The last time I was at the Gaya, Dan ordered the 36Pork and I immediately regretted that I didn’t order it. This dish is made of pork belly sous vide for 36 hours, put with pumpkin potato puree, soybean paste sauce, chives and apples.

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The Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi, is a grilled beef short rib, with daikon roll salad, potato egg salad and coconut rice. All the elements on the plate were tasty but didn’t really work very well together. Both mains came with some traditional Korean sides, which were Seaweed, Potato Salad and Spicy Beansprouts. The seaweed and beansprouts were a nice side dish, but the potato salad had a strong sourness I couldn’t get used to.

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After all this we were so full, but still decided to get the dessert. We shared the Redmisu ($9), a homemade Tiramisu with red bean paste, which is presented similar to the flowerpot dessert I had at No. 4 Blake St. This tiramisu is delicious with the addition of red bean and also has a right balance of coffee within it.

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We also got the Ho-Tuck ($10), a Korean style sweet pancake with dark brown sugar inside, topped with walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and strawberries. This pancake was surprisingly delicious and the flavours tasted very similar to Spanish churros.

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Apart from the A la Carte menu, the Gaya also offers a set menu, which includes a choice of a starter, main and dessert for an affordable $50. Overall, I had a very good time here and thank Leo for the opportunity to taste his creations. I would recommend to order the set menu, to try the beef cream roll, and definitely don’t miss out on dessert.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Disclaimer: Although I was invited to dine at this restaurant, the views and opinions presented are 100% my own thoughts.

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