Tucked away in an arcade off Kearnes Crescent, The Gaya is the first modern Korean restaurant to step foot into Applecross. What a great addition to my neighbourhood! I was lucky enough to be invited by Head Chef and Owner, Leo, to taste his exquisite work. Leo was very patient with me throughout the booking process. I changed my booking on him at least 3 times in the span of a month! Thank you for being so accommodating.
At 6pm, the restaurant was still empty so we got to choose where we wanted to sit. Of course I chose a table with decent lighting 😉
Before taking our order, the waitress brought us some complimentary house made potato chips and cheese puffs. I liked the chips but the cheese puffs weren’t great. It was soft and not crispy as I had hoped.
The Boy and I picked a starter each. I can’t go past Korean pancakes when dining at a Korean restaurant! It is a must! The Gaya’s seafood jijimi is one of the best I’ve had in Perth – crispy, thin, and full of seafood. Don’t you hate it when restaurants stinges on the filling?
The crab croquettes was The Boy’s starter dish choice. I’m not usually a fan of fried food (except fries!!) but this was so yummy I ate the whole thing. The batter was not too thick and the crab meat filling was full of flavour. Was surprised to see such a generous amount of crab inside.
We also chose a main dish each. I picked the pork trotter as I really enjoy meat that is served on the bone. This extremely filling dish was beautifully cooked – moist, tender, the meat fell off the bone, and it wasn’t overly salty. Although very enjoyable, we didn’t come close to finishing this.
The Boy chose the beef short ribs (I may have influenced him, just a little, to pick this). For me, this was perfectly marinated and I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty. For The Boy, it was way too boney and he didn’t enjoy getting into the nitty gritty bits to get to the meat.
The coconut rice added a nice touch to this dish and reminded me of Malaysian nasi lemak. The potato egg salad was The Boy’s favourite part of this dish. I let him finish it all since he wasn’t eating much of the meat.
Of course, banchan (Korean for ‘side dish’) were served with our meal – kimchi, potato salad, and I couldn’t pin point what the third one was.
By the end of our mains, we are stuff literally to our eyes. Yes, I am a dessert queen but I couldn’t eat another mouthful as much as I had wanted to! If you do end up trying The Gaya, don’t leave without trying the Red Misu (red bean tiramisu). I’ve had it twice before and it has been on point both times. All my friends rave about the Red Misu as well.
I just want to start by thanking Leo for inviting us to his lovely restaurant. Since this wasn’t our first Gaya experience, I can honestly say, it has improved a lot. We first visited The Gaya when it opened it’s doors in 2013 and I didn’t really think too much of it back then.
I’m upset that we didn’t have room to enjoy dessert this time around but I know I’ll be back to visit again real soon.
Please be mindful that the servings are very generous so share between 3-4 people so you can try more dishes. My all time favourite dish at The Gaya is still the Red Misu.