There are days when we all want to dress up nicely and head to a fine dining restaurant with the perfect cutlery and crockery and the most stunning décor that makes us feel like royalty. Those days, however, are rare and few and usually come when the paycheque arrives. For the rest of the month, we all look for comfort food that can quickly help us relieve stress, pamper our taste buds and also be light on the pocket. Ginyaki opened its doors in Jinnah Super F-7, Islamabad, to cater for days like these.
Islamabad is known to catch trends late and to keep the reputation, the make your own bowl by picking and choosing from a range of items trend came to the capital late too. Ginyaki may not be the first Chinese/Thai make your own bowl eatery but it is definitely the best one to come to Islamabad.
Essentially, a fast food for Chinese and Thai cuisine, Ginyaki is the quintessential quick bite eatery where you can step in, place your order, get served in 15 minutes and enjoy your quick, fuss free meal. Its ambiance is chic but nothing fancy. The furniture comprises of simple white chairs and tables while the ceiling is raw with suspended Edison bulbs to light up the space, which is already airy and well lit. One of the main walls at the eatery has a stunning hand painted cherry blossom wall mural with Japanese castles and a prominent doll featuring colours like pink, red, black, blue, grey and gold.
One of the best things about Ginyaki is that one doesn’t have to order a full dish to fulfil their American Chop Sui cravings. Customers have to make their own bowl and they can pick from two bowl options: Economy and the Super Bowl. In the Economy Bowl, one can add rice/chowmein or combo i.e. both with a curry like Chicken Manchurian, Kung Pao Chicken, Korean Beef, Thai Green Curry and so on. The Super Bowl allows people to choose all of this with an additional side such as the Crispy Beef Chilli Dry or Thai Basil Prawns.
Starting from the staple, the rice is exactly how you would expect it at a Chinese bowl eatery. The chowmein needs a little work because it has not tasted consistent. The Chicken Manchurian is very home style with a lot of gravy, which is often a little runnier than it should have been but it tastes good. It has the perfect tangy element in its sauce, which holds the delicious tender chicken pieces and makes for a great comfort meal. Among the chicken items, the Sesame Chicken is worth mentioning. It stands out for its exquisite nutty flavour of roasted sesame seeds covering a succulent chicken bathed in a spicy and tangy sauce.
Out of the Thai menu, the Thai Soup is full of flavour; clear but spicy and sour and just the way it should be. Thai Green Curry features chunky veggies in a lip-smacking curry constituted of aromatic herbs and spice powders, tangy lemon juice and rinds, and onion, ginger and garlic. The lemon fish, however, lacked the strong taste of lemon that could have made it much more delicious and flavourful.
All in all, Ginyaki is a great addition to Islamabad for quick Chinese and Thai comfort food. It is not fancy but it is just what you need on days when the weather is beautiful and you crave for something delicious. It also works best when you want to have good food without it being too heavy on your pocket. With the Economy Bowl costing Rs. 570 and the Super Bowl costing Rs. 670, Ginyaki is just what you need on rainy days.