Apologies for the slow update! Liqi actually ate all around in Hong Kong, Chongqing, Xiamen, Shanghai, Suzhou, and also various cities in Europe last summer. But alas, she was too lazy to write about those culinary adventures so Dishtinguished was left on untouched for months on end.
But never fear! For I am here with my first food blog post; Lucy will soon update on a third.
Now, Gaijin Lunch Bar.
After watching a movie on Good Friday, my friend and I were left with the impossible mission of finding a decent eatery on a public holiday. We initially had CJ Lunch Bar in mind, but were left in a heartbroken state when we found that it was, like most other restaurants, closed. Saddened and desperate, we even seriously contemplated Grill’d, before we chanced upon Gaijin. I figured it also had “Lunch Bar” in its name, so it was sufficiently close to what we were searching for to begin with.
Gaijin Lunch Bar serves some wallet friendly Japanese food. It’s a modest but welcoming establishment, featuring a couch looking out onto the streets, which gave off a youth hostel/guesthouse common room vibe that made me feel comfortable with the atmosphere as soon as I walked in.
The menu was fairly simple. It featured a few starters that included miso soup and the like, it offered noodles and rice sets and also appetizers for sharing. Interestingly, on Fridays and Saturdays it has an “all you can eat” offer for $25 or $30pp, dependent on whether you choose to have sashimi or not. Since I was in a half-starved state at that stage, that option seemed very attractive, but unfortunately my companion did not share this interest, so we opted to ordering the rice sets from the menu. I guess I’ll have to return another day.
Anyhow! The rice sets looked quite compelling – some of the names inspire curiousity. If I had been more adventurous I would have pickedDynamite Don or the Spicy Tiger Don, but not being a seafood fan I settled for the Spicy Chick.
The menu describes Spicy Chick as grilled chicken on rice served with tempura crunch and spicy mayo. But guess who was stupid and forgot to save a photo of the actual dish on her phone =.=?
Anyhow, the spicy mayo was actually incredibly mild, not spicy at all – for a chilli-lover that was a bit of a disappoint that I was quick to disregard. The mayo was also deliciously creamy, which worked surprisingly well with the grilled chicken. The chicken was well marinated, succulent and tender; coupled with the spicy mayo, it had just enough flavour to make me gulp down another mouthful of rice. The tempura pieces may have borderlined a little too oily, but honestly I was too hungry to care. I devoured my dish a little too quickly, and was disappointed to find that by the end of it my appetite was still unsatisfied. So, that would be my only complaint – the serving size was slightly small for my liking (or perhaps I was just too hungry that night, for my friend struggled to finish her dish).
Gaijin is also a cash-only eatery, which can be pretty inconvenient in circumstances, but it wasn’t a problem for me. Two Spicy Chicks came down to a mere $20, and I usually keep that much cash on me anyway. I also thoroughly enjoyed the usage of the Godfather picture at the counter 😉 any Godfather reference is a good reference to me.
So all in all, the dining experience was extremely pleasant. I’ll admit that the food, albeit tasty, was nothing spectacular, but I may just happened to have encountered it at the right time – I keep wanting to head back there again over the Easter weekend. My verdict? 3.5/5.