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I have very low tolerance for unauthentic Asian cuisine, especially for Japanese, Korean, Malaysian and Chinese food. I get it, this is not Asia. We can’t get 100% original dishes served to us all the time. You may argue that restaurants have to adapt to local tastes, just like Western fast food chains needed to “localize” their menu items as they entered the Asian market. True, but I also believe that by adding creativity and introducing elements of different culinary traditions to your food might be a smarter way to attract a broader group of diners. Today, I am sharing with you a restaurant we recently found that did just that!
Gachi is tucked away in the quieter end of 17th Ave. It is a small, chic restaurant serving modern Asian cuisine. The black and white stylish design sets a high contrast to its dull exterior. This restaurant just newly opened not too long ago and has not garnered much attention yet. Kev and I, along with our friends, were the first customers on that day and we felt as if we had the whole restaurant booked out 😛
Browsing through the menu, you will find mostly Korean Japanese fusion dishes. As a big group, we ordered orange ebi and 2 specialty rolls- mad dragon and big boss to share.
The orange ebi ($8) was truly appetizing. All of us fell in love with the saucy deep-fried prawns. The house-made orange mayo sauce added a slight sour taste to the crunchy ebi. It tasted so refreshing and just made me want to eat more.
Our server recommended the big boss ($13) to us. I found it quite ordinary in fact. Surprisingly, I didn’t taste so much of the seared tuna and salmon. On the contrary, I had the taste of cucumber and prawn tempura lingered in my mouth.
The mad dragon roll ($13) was nicely presented and decorated. Didn’t it look like a cute, furious dragon? The prawn tempura and tenkatsu crumbs gave it appealingly crunchy textures. In contrast to big boss, the strong, hot sensation of the spicy tuna really stood out. The only problem we had with with it was that the ingredients fell apart as soon as we picked up the individual pieces.
The bulgogi donburi ($13) was extremely mouth-watering. The rice bowl with hearty Korean barbecue beef and saute veggies was so filling that even Kev couldn’t finish it. Mild sweet taste of the barbecue beef and subtle, savory fish cake offered a good combination!
I ordered the hot yakiya ($14) with pork . It is a Japanese & Korean fusion style of spicy stir-fried udon. O.M.G. Never underestimate how spicy Korean food can be. It was super duper spicy, even I needed to chuck down a few extra glasses of water to dilute the heat. Despite the hotness, I really liked the chewiness of the udon as well as the mixture of crunchy cabbages and sweet, peppery flavor of the bell peppers. I just wished the udon was less saucy and more stir-fried.
We were quite impressed with the service and food quality at Gachi. For anyone who is interested in fusion cuisine, I would totally recommend trying their appetizers and main dishes. This place definitely has good potential to make a name in the Calgary food scene. We will definitely go back to its brunch menu!