It’s refreshing to wander off from the norm every once in a while and try eating something different to give our taste buds a new sensation. If you’re looking to venture into Asian cuisine or just craving some fried rice and chicken sweet & sour, Gaya is the place to go.
Located in the heart of Maadi, it might be a little hard to spot, but Gaya has been serving the locals for 18 years now. Boasting a simple, yet unique setting, Gaya is perfect for groups who like to share food rather than ordering separate plates. Another signature feature is the table grill, on which you can cook your meat.
Predominantly Korean, Gaya’s menu also has a round of Chinese and Japanese options, like the crowd-pleasing fried rice and fried noodles. After a thorough inspection of the entire menu, we settled on the steamed dumplings (65 LE), Beef fried noodles (85 LE), and lastly, the Spicy octopus, also known as Nakji–bokkeum (130 LE).
We started our meal with their standard set of appetiser salads, from which the peanut-oil-drizzled bean sprout, and steamed baby spinach salads stole the show. Our first order of business was the steamed dumplings, which were very well cooked. Dumplings can easily get overcooked, but these weren’t and, as far as flavour goes, they tasted authentic with a robust onion flavour for the stuffing.
Proceeding to our main dishes, the beef fried noodles arrived first, and it was bursting with flavour from the strips of beef and veggies, it also has a very light tanginess, and we really liked how the noodles tasted fresh and homemade, but they were a bit soggy for our liking.
Known to be a Korean delicacy, the spicy octopus was superb. Served on a small cast iron plate, the octopus was cooked to perfection in spicy red sauce, alongside a variety of medium-cooked vegetables – mainly carrots and zucchini. A friendly reminder that this a spicy dish, so a side of rice is recommended as it comes with no sides.
If you’ve never trodden in an Asian-owned restaurant in Cairo before, don’t expect the airs of a swanky, posh eatery; it’s all about the authenticity of food that comes with an atmosphere that is unique in its own right. The sight of Korean expats in Egypt regularly visiting the place shows that Gaya is on the right track.