Lower Greenville’s Gung Ho launched brunch Oct. 20 with a menu involving some dishes with a Chinese twist, as well as some Chinese staples with American twists.
How does orange chicken on top of waffles suit you?
Last weekend brought temporary relief from rain, and the cool air coupled with sunshine meant the patio was packed. On Sunday, Gung Ho staff handed out samples to people making their way down Greenville Avenue.
The cocktail menu features a variety of choices. While you can get a standard mimosa ($4), you can change it up with the yuzu breakfast martini ($11): gin, St. Germain, yuzu sake, lemon juice and yuzu marmalade. Other items on the cocktail list include the “cafe americano” ($11) with cenar, J. Ringer caffe amaro, Cocchi di Torino, Grady’s cold brew, club soda and cream; and the crane shadow ($10) with tequila, lemongrass, mint, lime and orange-flower water.
As for the brunch menu, prepare for mixed results.
The most interesting part of the menu might be the dim sum. A waitress on a recent visit was enthusiastic about nearly every item, but said the Lo Bak go tots ($9) were particularly popular on the first weekend. With sweet and sour pork belly, scallion, spicy chile mayo and herbs, it’s easy to understand why.
For fans of crab rangoon, Gung Ho has come up with an ideal way to indulge with its crab rangoon dip ($13). They’ve taken that savory filling and thrown it in a bowl. Make sure you stir it up to make the best use of those chunks of crab that greatly increase the flavor of the dish when broken up. Of course, crispy wonton chips dominate the rest of the plate and a sweet charred chile jam provides the perfect balance.
As for the main courses, the top item will draw your attention: orange chicken and waffles ($15).
The regular menu does have pretty fantastic orange chicken, so it’s no surprise that it’s part of the brunch menu. The chicken packs a powerful flavor punch that dominates the nine-spice pecan waffle with sesame and butter.
It’s a tempting offer if you want orange chicken for breakfast. But if you’re seeking a decent chicken-and-waffles dish, this won’t be your go-to.
The fried rice burrito ($13) sounds interesting: veggies, egg, cheddar and spicy chile mayo make up the dish. Add sweet and sour pork belly or sausage for $2.
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If you’re not a brunch fan, you can also go for the dan dan noodles ($14) or lo mein ($12).
One item our waitress encouraged us to try was the Not Biscuits and Gravy ($13). Unfortunately, this was a complete misfire. From the crispy rice cake that covered the plate (in place of biscuits) to the odd flavor of mushroom gravy to two runny eggs that needed salt, there’s not a good combination of bites. The small cup of fermented greens on the side wasn’t welcome, either.
There are some redeeming qualities in the brunch offerings here, and the patio is a perfect spot to spend a Sunday morning.
Gung Ho, 2010 Greenville Ave. (Lowest Greenville). Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.