Food, fitness and health enthusiast. Aspiring writer and health practitioner.
Published May 25th 2014
Asian-styled canteen that leaves school tuckshops wanting
Gin Long Canteen is one of those 'have to' places. The number of people who told me that I had to try it is ridiculous.
Or so I thought.
For anyone who has visited Chin Chin in Melbourne, this is Adelaide's relaxed version. It has a similar contemporary and quirky style, plates best shared, and young, quick staff. Unlike Chin Chin you feel no rush to get in, eat, and get out again. You can mull over your fresh coconut juice or $39 banquet for as long as you desire. We did. And better yet if you get a seat at the bar you can spy on the chefs as they prepare your dish.
The food at Gin Long is beautifully cooked, if a bit too cool on occasion despite its speedy delivery. It is also straight up beautiful to look at, in addition to being delicious. The slow-cooked beef melts in your mouth, and it may be a simple thing but perfectly cooked rice is always a plus. However it may be more fun to bring a group and order an array from their appetising 'eat small' menu and grab a smashing cocktail of pandan-infused gin. Prices range from $3 for a green or jasmine tea to $29 for the 'nom nom' barramundi with a lime chilli sauce.
For those with dietary requirements: vegetarian and gluten-free are clearly marked on the menu. If you can get a hold of a staff member, they are also very helpful. The problem is once you are seated they have a habit of disappearing and there is no distinctive uniform to assist you in seeking them out from the hungry crowd.
Gin Long can be found on the busy yet leisurely O'Connell Street of North Adelaide. They are open for lunch sessions on weekdays and dinners are every day of the week except Sunday. Be aware that if you come later, or on a Friday or Saturday, it may be a struggle to get a table because the place is booming with young professionals, families, and women having a girls' night.
It is definitely the place to be; you have to try it.