Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Gaya, Applecross

The Gaya is a Korean restaurant in the heart of Applecross serving contemporary Korean fusion cuisine. This restaurant prides its self on serving healthy Korean food with no added MSG so when we were invited to dine here by Leo the Head Chef of The Gaya we were extremely excited to try this modern twist on Korean food!

Crisps & Cheese Puffs

We were seated by the lovely waiter, then we were promptly given delicious complementary starters while we looked through the menu. The crisps were light and crunchy, while the cheese puffs just melted in your mouth leaving a slight cheesy after-taste and a hint of sweetness from the berry sauce. We rate this dish 7/10.

After being served with this dish we were quite impressed and excited to see what else The Gaya had to offer. We ordered the $45/person banquet which consists of an entree, main and dessert each, we decided to share all the dishes between the two of us. 

Gaya Chicken 

At first we were surprised at the serving size of this entree, it could almost pass as a main dish at some high end restaurants! The chicken was lightly battered and fried to perfection, the sauce definitely gave it a nice spicy kick with a hint of sweetness, while the peanut crumble added a nice touch to the dish. We wanted to eat all of this dish straight away but we tried to leave room for our mains. The Gaya Chicken was our favourite entree out of the two we tried, it definitely deserved a rating of 8.5/10. 


Leo has previous experience in serving italian cuisine and that really shows in this dish. He takes a italian classic and puts a Korean spin to it. The risotto rice inside was beautiful and moist with a perfect crunchy crust. They were served with Basil Pesto, Kimchi (fermented vegetables) with traditional Korean seasonings and a berry sauce. The seasonings complemented the Arrancini perfectly giving them an extra flavour hit. Also we want to point out that this dish is a starter, which after just two servings we were just about full and had to stop so we could eat our mains. We rate the Arrancini 8/10.

The two mains we ordered were Spicy Chicken and Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi, they were both served with traditional Korean kimchi on the side. Keep in mind that these serving sizes are quite generous so its a good idea to share as we were already a little full from the entrees.

Spicy Chicken

The spicy chicken was succulent and definitely spicy! Instead of pieces of chicken this dish was nearly half a chicken. The chicken melted in my mouth with every bite. It was served with roast vegetables and also a very interesting twist... sweet potato noodles which surprisingly complemented this dish very well. Just take note it comes in just two spice levels mild or extra hot. I love hot and spicy food but I asked for the mild and it was extremely spicy which I did love, I don't think I could've handled the extra hot though! Leo told me if it was too hot for me to handle he could then adjust the heat level again to my liking which was very accommodating. Overall I rate this dish 9/10.

Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi

This dish is pretty much a Korean version of steak and potatoes infused with creativity and clever flavour combinations. The beef ribs were grilled Korean style making it soft, juicy and tender, while the potato egg salad added the perfect creaminess to the beef. The daikon roll salad tasted like pickled vegetables, the light tangy flavour was a great addition. This is a nice neutral dish for those that don't like spicy food or huge hits of flavour. It was a lighter dish yet still quite filling, we give it a rating of 8/10. 

Red Misu (Red Bean Tiramisu)

We've previously tried red bean with chocolate sauce and we know that is a good flavour combination, so we were quite intrigued to try red bean with coffee. Just as excepted, the flavour combination was amazing! The mascarpone cream was nice and soft, which complemented with crunchy pieces of coffee soaked biscuits inside and the red bean paste was swirled through the tiramisu. If you're a lover of Asian desserts, this is a must-try! We rate it 9/10. 

Green Tea

The green tea ice cream was plain and simple, but very refreshing after a big meal. What more can we say about green tea ice cream, it was cold, creamy and delicious! This was the more lighter dessert option and great for green tea lovers. We give it a rating of 7/10.

Overall Review

First of all we would like to thank Leo very much for inviting us to try his amazing food and we would like to mention that our review is 100% honest. We were very impressed with The Gaya for its creativity fusing Korean and Western food together. You definitely get your money worth of food here, the servings sizes are huge and bigger that what you would get at other restaurants, we recommend you come to eat on an empty stomach. We also give extra points for providing gluten free and vegan options on the menu. Overall we rate The Gaya 8.5/10.

The Gaya on Urbanspoon

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