[ Food Review — Menu Update ] It’s been quite a while since we were last at Gaijin, oops. I’m not big on going to KAP mall because of the type of crowd the place attracts (and the mozzies + cig smoke doesn’t help matters either), and with numerous alternatives in the area, I’d completely forgotten about Gaijin until recently!

Turns out a few things have changed: Instead of operating two menus that you can cross-order from regardless of where you’re seated, they’ve removed their sushi menu (side across the cashier). I’m a tad disappointed because I prefer that selection, but I can’t and won’t fault a business for streamlining operations if it improves their quality and longevity!

Because it was a pretty long day and both of us were feeling pretty under the weather anyway, we chose to get richer and heartier dishes. Niku udon for me, tempura curry rice for him, and ebi tempura to share.

While I know many of Gaijin’s patrons prefer their ramen, I’m all about their udon! Partly because there are no other udon options nearby, but also because it’s genuinely enjoyable. The noodles are honestly not the best I’ve had — not bouncy nor stretchy enough for my liking — but are totally fine when slurped with dashi and niku. The dashi was mild yet fragrant, with obvious kombu notes, which created a mellow, stable base for the true highlight of the dish: the beef. You don’t just get any beef here — each bowl is crowned with USDA angus beef slices; lightly blanched to doneness whilst retaining its knitted texture. (If you’re hungry, I’d suggest adding on more beef via their “the works” option cause the beef’s worth it!)

A certain someone’s curry fared well too, with him inhaling most of it minutes after it arrived. The curry’s not too thick and on the lighter side; while that may be a turn off to some, it is especially well-suited, and thus easy, to eat with the rice.

And of course, Gaijin knocked their tempura out of the park again. I think they’re still the only place I eat tempura at, and I don’t think that’ll change soon! Craggy batter that’s airy and non-oily, king prawns that are bulbous and succulent, vegetables that are fresh and sweet — now that’s happiness in a bite!