Thursday, January 16, 2014

gin long canteen.

First of all, a very belated happy new year to everyone! Secondly, very very sorry for the lack of blogging over the last few weeks.  Exams and a short-term mission trip to the Philippines took up most of my time, and I'm leaving for Hong Kong in a few days! But no fear, there will be delicious updates now and again from the city that never sleeps.

On to Gin Long! After seeing its constant presence on Urbanspoon's hit list, it was hard for me not to come and see what all the fuss was about.  Funky and fusion were the first two words that came to mind - the interior is not your standard Asian round table and table cloth fare, and it has that new-to-town buzz.

The menu is a mix of Thai and Vietnamese flavours, and they have 'eat small' and 'eat big' options.  We opted for a variety of small dishes - who said less is more?

Prawn Toast with lime mayonnaise: $8.00
Thick, crunchy and surprisingly well-matched with the mayonnaise, I found the toast to be one of my favourites of the night.  There was plenty of prawn mixture on top of the bread and the mayonnaise was tart but creamy at the same time.  It did leave an oily aftertaste so those who don't like oily stuff, beware.

Vietnamese Coleslaw with sesame cracker and chili vinegar: $8.00
I wasn't expecting the salad to be so full of ingredients - basil, parsley, carrots, cabbage, onion, cucumber, mint and more - and was happily surprised to see it was a fairly big portion for the low price.  Everything tasted fresh and well placed together, although the basil and the parsley were a bit overwhelming at times.  I loved the chili vinegar since it gave it some punch and the sesame cracker was cool!  It got soggy afterwards though.

Crispy Quail: $12.00
If the coleslaw was big for it's price, the quail was teeny in comparison.  Two legs for $12.00? Hmm.... Luckily it tasted pretty yum with soft, sweet meat and crispy skin.  

Nem Nuong Grilled Pork: $9.50
I'm used to seeing nem nuong being a dark pink-red, so when these came out I was a little sceptical.  They were deliciously moist and flavoursome, but it was missing the sweetness that I normally associate with nem nuong.  DIY cold roll making is always fun though, and they have the sugar can prawn option as well.  Next time!

Food-wise it was pretty yum.  The flavours are, as far as I can tell, authentic, (I'm not Vietnamese or Thai) and from what I saw coming out of the open kitchen, their portions are reasonably well-sized for their price. Service was also pretty attentive with the same waiter serving us throughout the night, topping up water and checking in on us without being nosy.

One complaint I do have was the lack of air-conditioning in the restaurant.  We went on a 45-degree day and by the time we finished our meal, we were sweating in our chairs.  Not a great impression.

Gin Long Canteen on Urbanspoon

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