If you happen to decide on modern Asian for tonight’s dinner outing, I’d strongly suggest you to take a visit to Gin Long Canteen to satisfy your cravings. Tucked away in North Adelaide’s prominent O’Connell Street, the restaurant isn’t one to catch the naked eye. However, after my successful first visit, I find it hard not to take a peak inside each time I pass through O’Connell, and for the record – it’s just about always buzzing with patrons.
After a lengthy conversation among myself and four friends regarding the location of that week’s catch up dinner, one of the girls had suggested Gin Long Canteen after her contentment from her last visit. As part of Adelaide’s efforts to follow Melbourne and Sydney’s nightlife, Gin Long is a walk-in restaurant, so there was a quite a wait before we were seated (waiting at the bar did help a little, though).
Three entrees were ordered between the five of us, starting with the chicken satay sticks, gin long wings and soft shell crab. Each of us had our favourite pick out of the three – for me, the soft shell crab was perfect, particularly the way it melted in my mouth releasing the sweet curry flavours into my eager pallet.Following on came the mains, including the pomegranate chicken, lychee duck curry and the really slow braised pork belly, along with two serves of fried coconut rice. The pomegranate chicken seemed to be the winner among all five of us, mostly due to its originality.
There was one slight problem, however, after each main course arrived the rice was no where to be seen. After asking staff (twice) roughly how long it would be until our rice arrived, we got to the point of experiencing such hunger where we ate each main on its own. Now I’m not sure about you, but when I’m eating the Asian cuisine – whether it be traditional or modern – I appreciate some rice on the side of my plate.
To fill in time while waiting for our rice we thought it would serve us well to order two more entrees – so out came the curry puffs and prawn dumplings. Everyone seemed much more critical this time round, maybe because we only had rice on our mind, but the puff seemed slightly dry, leading us to cue in our sixth bottle of water. Then the moment came, and the rice arrived. It was a bittersweet symphony though, as we were just about full from the two additional entrees.
Admittedly, the staff at Gin Long were extremely apologetic and gave us the two serves of rice on the house (#winning!), and to be fair, the restaurant was absolutely packed – especially for a Tuesday night. Although the rice dilemma was a slight let down, I’d still go along to Gin Long Canteen for another meal with a group of friends.
Drop me a comment if you’ve ever been to Gin Long yourself and share your experience with us all! Happy reading all,