Eating out: One to keep an eye on
GAZE, 415 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3GP. Tel: 90 694293
A BUSY takeaway cum restaurant, Gaze's service is fast and reliable.
There are very few tables, four in all, which can be divided into two by strategically placing napkins and condiments. If you don't mind sharing your table with strangers, this is the place for you - otherwise visit in groups of three or more to avoid the problem. The eatery is extremely popular so to avoid queues out the door, the emphasis is on fast service and fast eating. They do not take bookings for tables, you simply turn up and they give you an estimated waiting time.
The menu is divided into lots of different sections including GAZE signature dishes, local favourites, Hong Kong metropolitan, China, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Yaki Ramen noodles and Yaki Udon noodles and more. There's quite a selection and we all agreed while casting our eye over the various dishes that we would be back to sample a few more - and that was before we had placed our order!
My three friends and I chose a selection of starters to begin with from the extensive list of over 20 dishes.
The restaurant is 'bring your own' so we brought a couple of bottles of wine with us, making for a cheap night out. Also, eating in the restaurant is the same price as taking away, resulting in excellent value for money.
For starters, we sampled filo chicken (deep fried strips of chicken surrounded by candyfloss-style filo pastry and served with sweet chilli dip), a crispy aromatic duck wrap (a tortilla-style wrap filled with shredded cucumber, lettuce, raw onion and hoi sin sauce), salt and chilli king prawns stir fried with five spices in salt and chilli and the deluxe combo, which contained a duck samosa, chicken skewer, a spring roll and a piece of sesame prawn toast.
They all went down a treat and no sooner were our plates lifted than our mains came. A little more time for our first course to digest or the waitress inquiring if we were ready for our next course would have been better.
For mains, we chose an assortment of chicken and black bean sauce from the Chinese section, duck kimchi from Korea, and Malaysian beef curry, all with steamed rice, Thai pan pan chicken with fried rice and a side of chips to share.
The curry and kimchi duck were requested mild and both diners were very pleased with their dishes, however, the latter was spicier than requested. A glass of water solved the problem and he cleared his plate.
All dishes received the thumbs up and the portions were just the right size.
Sadly, there was no dessert menu available, which we were quite surprised about, so my friend and I settled for a coffee and a Chinese Yulan tea while the other pair finished their wine.
Overall, Gaze is worth a visit, and with a never-ending menu to be sampled, I'll definitely be back.