We are back here again, Gin Long Canteen, always putting on a spread for us and providing us with full and happy bellies. Each and every dish on their menu has a unique and authentic flavour, which is what keeps their customers coming back for more. Their menu consists of eat small, eat big, salads, sides and sweet and we were lucky to sample a range of these dishes.
We started off by eating 3 of the small eats:
Number one was the Gin Long Wings – crispy winglets, pandan leaves and hot Thai sauce. Here at Adelaide Food Central we have a slight fetish for wings so it was vital that they executed this dish well. The batter that was used had been cooked flawlessly, which gave the outer a perfect crunch. It was not to thick but thick enough to give it that crispy wing texture. The chicken that had been used was of high quality, which gives the entrée that extra excellence.
Dish number two was the Chicken Satay – rice cake, cucumber, onion, and spicy peanut sauce. Ah, chicken satay, an Asian restaurant classic. I tend to find that at some Asian restaurants the chicken satay can have an almost fake tasting flavour. I loved how chunky the peanut sauce was at Gin Long, and how authentic and unique it was. The side of rice cake, cucumber and onion helped to give the dish that fresh element, helping to break up the sauce and the chicken.
And the final small eats dish was Soft Shell Crab – with southern Thai yellow curry mousse. Oh how I loved this menu item, as there was a slight difference to the flavour you get with your typical soft shell crab dish. The crab itself was cooked perfectly it was not only soft but it also produced a slight crunch. My favourite part was the Thai yellow curry mousse, which the crab was nestled on. The characteristics in this mousse was to die for, it worked extremely well with the soft crab and produced an extremely flavoursome dish.
We then sampled an array of larger dishes:
One including the Dragon Beef Curry – red curry, Thai eggplant and lime leaves. An all time favourite of mine, you can never go wrong with this top-notch dragon beef curry. Each and every time, the meat just melts in your mouth and you can tell it has been prepared with care and passion. The curry sauce itself is like a party in your mouth, the coconut flavour hitting all the right spots.
Another favourite of ours is the Pomegranate Chicken – chargrilled chicken and sweet tamarind. I have never been one to order chicken dishes at restaurants, as I tend to find them boring, but this dish I would order time and time again. I absolutely love the sweet addition of the pomegranate and like how they have used this to give the dish that point of difference. Even the presentation is beautiful, with the bright red drops of pomegranate sprinkled around. The coriander placed on top gives the dish that extra bit of zing.
The third dish out of the larger plates was the Lychee Roast Duck Curry – roasted duck, cherry tomato and pineapple. This was another absolutely sensational meal, and if you like chilli this is one for you. What made this dish so unique was the addition of the sweet lychee. It is not something that you would usually find in a savoury dish, hence why it makes the dish so unique. The sweet lychee paired perfectly with the roast duck, soft cherry tomatoes and of course the delicious juicy coconut sauce that the elements were drenched in.
Dish number four was the Stir Fried Roast Pork – green beans, dry curry paste, basil, chilli. It seems to me that every single dish I come up to on this menu I think to myself, ah another one of my favourite. But could you really say no to a stir-fried roast pork dish? I know I couldn’t. The roast pork itself was extremely juicy and worked well with the crunchy green beans. The elements in this dish were not to over bearing but still produced bursts of flavour. I enjoyed the seemed to be light sesame oil drizzled along the bottom of the plate.
Next up is the Baby Lobster Tails – green beans, diced prawns and XO sauce. Okay, so this has to be the most exciting dish on their menu, and yes you saw it correctly, baby lobster tail. The lobster pulled straight out of the tail and was soft, flavoursome and chunky. The crunchy beans and basil that accompanied the tails were a perfect combination along with the sweet sauce.
Last but not least is the Shredded Pork Ribs – green apple, corns, red onion. Yes I heard it straight from the one and only Lee’s mouth ‘this might be my new favourite dish’. We aren’t usually ones to order a salad off a menu, but we were so glad we tried this amazing addition. It was really like nothing else, the pulled pork combined with the sweet flavours of the apple and corn, plus the red onion was a like no other. So much flavour, you didn’t really know what you were, tasting, as it all worked so well together.
Thank you so much to the team at Gin Long Canteen for inviting us to sample their menu. We always leave with smiles on our faces, and we know you will as well. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday 12-2.30pm and 5.30pm-9.30pm.
Words by Tomika Salerno
WHERE: 42 O’Connell St, North Adelaide