ISLAMABAD: Overlooking Bhittai Road in F-7, Ginyaki is the capital’s newest Pan-Asian restaurant.
Doing away with the traditional red upholstery, black and red lanterns, dim lights and the dull white crockery that most restaurants offering Pan-Asian foods have, the decor in Ginyaki is more simplistic, with beige tapestry, an industrial grey ceiling and oak wood furniture all of which give a very warm vibe.
A mural painted in magenta, royal blue and dull golden adorns the left of the eatery.
The items on the menu come in single servings and are priced accordingly. The bill of fare also gives very thorough guidelines on how to order.
‘Make Your Bowl Your Way’, the menu says and gives customers options between an economy bowl and a deluxe bowl.
The economy bowl comes with one item from the entrees and either noodles or rice whereas the deluxe bowl gives the option of add-ons as well.
“Our competition is not the other Chinese and Thai restaurants. Our competition is burger joints. One burger meal in Islamabad costs around Rs700 to Rs800 and have 1,200 calories.
They use a pre-cooked, frozen patty and frozen French fries,” said Atif Rana, the owner of the restaurant.
Ginyaki has a live kitchen fenced in by clear glass panels. An order takes between 25 to 30 minutes. It is hard to choose between the appetisers at the restaurant and all 10 items are very appealing.
The prices of the appetizers range between Rs199 and Rs299 and include Ginyaki style dynamite prawns, sesame chicken poppers, prawn toast, stuffed chilli and others.
Almost all the soups on the menu can be seen in all restaurants across the city such as the Thai soup, tom yum goong, tom yum gai, chicken corn soup as well as the Ginyaki special soup.
The main courses include Chinese and Thai dishes in chicken and sea food variants. However, the beef items are limited.
Priced between Rs580 and Rs700 and the serving size is enough for one person.
The prawn toast was crispy and flavourful with a more than enough filling but it was a bit too oily.
The dynamite prawns were a treat for the taste buds and the eyes. Two butterfly prawns arrived on a white platter, on a skewer.
They were fried in a thin, gold fried batter and topped with Sriarcha sauce. They are crunchy, spicy and flavourful.
With its distinct hot and sour flavours, the tom yum goong met all the standards of good Thai food. The prominent tastes are of lemon grass and lemon, fish sauce, and crushed chilli and also include two flavourful, large prawns and mushrooms. The crispy beef chilli dry comes with a liberal application of sesame seeds, ginger and garlic.
The thinly sliced crispy beef comes in a shallow fried filo pastry shell which gives the dish an array of textures.
The Ginyaki special fish with apple sauce is pieces of fish in a crunchy coating with a drizzle of the apple sauce, topped with caramelised onion rings.
The chopsuey is a three-layered dish and one has to tackle the first two layers to get to the crispy noodles at the bottom.
The chicken cubes were marinated in ginger and parsley and came with green beans. The noodles were crispy even though they were topped by the chicken and a gravy.
Ginyaki offers great food and affordable prices and promises a good experience.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2018