Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Gin Long Canteen

This is an old post I had lined up months ago which I wasn't going to post, but I think everything is definitely still relevant! I've also included my thoughts at the very end, having been back multiple times.


I caught up with some old friends over dinner a while back at a South-East Asian street food inspired eatery on O'Connell Street, Gin Long Canteen.

 Ramli Slider $6 each
chicken, egg, curry mayo

Great flavours, not overly greasy and the perfect size for a starter!

Honey glazed pork neck skewer $8
sesame, peanuts, galangal

 Gin Long wings $8.50
crispy winglets, pandan leaves, hot thai sauce

We all agreed this was very disappointing. There was very little meat on the wings, as you can see, and what meat there was, was extremely dry and quite tough. Also, the 'Hot Thai sauce' that came with it tasted like normal chilli sauce.

Nem Nuong Grilled Pork $9.50
rice paper, herb salad, hoisin paste

I love eating Nem Nuong, especially if they're made without that packet seasoning that turns the meat bright red! Coming from a Vietnamese person who's had all sorts of Nem Nuong, I'd say these are definitely great. We all really enjoyed this dish.

Grilled chicken satay $9
ketupat rice cake, cucumber, spicy peanut sauce

Pomegranate chicken $18
chargrilled chicken, sweet tamarind

Probably our favourite dish of the night. Sticky and slightly sweet, this would have been absolutely perfect with some white rice! Also, the serving is quite generous and we were left extremely satisfied. 

 Gin Long $10 in a bubble tea cup
pandan or tamarind-orange infused gin

We ordered both the pandan and orange-tamarind infused gin cocktails, and found the latter more enjoyable, possibly because it was a little bit sweeter. I'd recommend this for those who would like to enjoy a light alcoholic drink that doesn't taste 'obviously' alcoholic!

 Ho Chi Mint Mojito $14
rum in a sugarcane syrup

Very refreshing but definitely steer clear if you don't really enjoy the taste of rum.

Overall, a great first impression, although there were a few let downs with the food. I would recommend everything but the wings and pork skewers!
We found the service rather average, only because it was difficult to differentiate between the patrons and waiters as they were also dressed in casual clothing.
Awesome atmosphere, fantastic food and drinks; we'll definitely be back!

I've been back multiple times and the food has definitely improved, even though most of it was great originally. Even my parents who are Vietnamese really like the food here, and they're usually super picky since mum's cooking is incredible! The service has also improved, but the waiting staff are still dressed very casually! I guess after a few visits, you get a good idea of who works there.
A few other food recommendations I would make are the Very Exciting Beef Salad, Lychee Duck Curry and Nom Nom Barramundi (will insert a picture below).

Nom Nom Barramundi $29

How awesome is that presentation?! Piping hot, crunchy pieces of barramundi paired with a tangy fish sauce based dipping sauce = seriously addictive!

Gin Long Canteen on Urbanspoon

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