Disclaimer: Hungry Again Perth was invited as a guest to The Gaya to sample the dinner menu, however all opinions expressed hereon are nobody's but my own.
Normal prices are shown with dishes.
When I think Korean food, I think traditional. I think strong, bold flavours that come out of a style of cooking that tastes like and reminds me of home. When I came across dishes like arancini on their menu being served with pan-fried kimchi, I was puzzled. Is The Gaya meant to be something else?
|The Gaya Korean Restaurant|
The beef slices are aromatic but lack a bit of seasoning, though the subtle flavour is compensated by eating it with the roasted pine nut salt grains sprinkled on the side. The crumbs melt in your mouth and are deceptively salty, and remind me of the golden salted egg yolk crumbs that are sprinkled on top of deep fried crab dishes at Chinese restaurants. Each component on the dish is not fantastic on their own, but come together surprisingly well.
Besides the beef option, there is also the choice of vegetable, kimchi, mung bean and fish jijimi.
|Salmon Gravlax - $14|
|Side dish - $4|
|Beef short rib, parsnip, red date - $30|
The large chunks of short ribs seem all tough guy, but are big softies on the inside. This traditional hearty Korean dish involves simmering beef short ribs for 24 hours to give it that unbelievable tenderness. The softness is from a combination of the cooking time as well as the thin layers of fatty deposits in between the meat, giving it that moisture after being saturated in the broth.
We both agree there was one thing that was missing, that would make this dish the best it can be. It's a subjective call but it held true for us; we flagged the waiter over and he consequently plonked a large bowl of rice on the table for us. With this, we ate more of the dish despite stopping before - it's amazing how loading on more carbs opens up our appetite isn't it?
|Tteokgalbi: Beef spare rib, rice cake, yoghurt potato salad, pine nut - $30|
I quite liked the yoghurt potato salad, as it was a refreshing and lighter taste to the rest of the food on the dish, which was very tasty but was high in oil content by the way the food gleamed. The two grilled beef spare rib patties fit this bill especially; it was so indulgently fatty, moist and soft, that makes other burger patties taste like a joke. Very dry jokes that aren't funny, like this one.
|Egg yolk: "PIERCE ME!"|
Most of them gave a good chew. I couldn't stop chewing.
|Gaya Ho-Tuck - $8|
The presentation of the ho-tuck is really sweet; the walnuts, strawberry, pine nuts (chef likes his pine nuts!) and three blood-like drops of strawberry syrup adorn the rim of the plate while the ho-tuck and caramel shards sit on top of perfectly straight lines of caramel syrup that extend outwards from the centre. In comparison to the rest of the components, the nuts are exactly that: nuts. Had they been candied or something similar, would have added to the dessert.
Usually with a sugary syrup filling, The Gaya's version has a pillowy, nearly gelatinous centre in stark contrast to its crisp exterior, which has been deep fried until a golden crust has formed. I can see why they're popular; it would be so dangerously easy to down five of these in one go.
|Red Misu - $8|
|Digging for treasures|
|Along the back wall|
|A big, spacious seating area|
|The Gaya, Applecross|
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10pm
Open Tuesday - Saturday
Unit 3/4, 3 Kearns Crescent Ardross WA 6153