As shrinkflation continues, how cheap is too cheap?
Sometimes, all you want is some cheap food to make you feel full. We’re in a cost of living crisis, the cheaper the better. But, cheaper doesn’t mean it tastes better.
Gong-Cha in the Kinesiology Building on Campus is known for their bubble tea, but they also have a food menu. I had the opportunity to check out their food menu and actually try it.
Unlike my previous menu reviews of the Lazy Owl I actually ate this food, and this is about the food itself, not the menu presented.
When I went to Gong-Cha, the menu had six food items: popcorn chicken, dry ribs, chicken burrito, steak bourbon, french fries, and an egg waffle.
As for the preparation of the food, it’s frozen. If it wasn’t blatantly obvious by the taste, I watched the employees take food out of the freezer and put it into the fryer.
Starting with the popcorn chicken, the upside is that it was cooked. It wasn’t raw. It was, however, incredibly bland (which will become a theme with this menu). It was also advertised on posters to be Taiwanese popcorn chicken, which it definitely wasn’t. The posters had the chicken with some sort of red coloring or sauce, and that wasn’t present on the chicken. For $8.99, it was edible. You can definitely eat it, but it would benefit from some kind of dip to make up for the blandness.
Next was the dry ribs for $9.99. I love dry ribs, one of my favorite foods, but oh my god – the amount of pepper on these dry ribs. It’s like taking pepper out of the shaker and just putting it in your mouth. But, some of the friends I was trying this menu with said that they couldn’t taste any pepper and it was incredibly bland, so it’s not evenly seasoned.
The chicken burrito was scary. It only costs $3.99 which was a red flag. Its size is indicative of the price, it’s small, but I had no idea what was in it. The filling was orange, so I assumed it would be less bland than some of the other things, and I was mistaken. It tasted like nothing. I have no idea what was in that burrito and honestly, I don’t think I want to.
The steak bourbon came in a different container than the rest of the food. It was in a little black tray, with cling film stuck to the top. I would bet money that it was a frozen microwave dinner. The steak itself wasn’t awful, it was cooked, it was edible. The green beans tasted like bad grass. For $5.99, it’s protein I guess. It’s not good protein, but it’s protein.
The french fries made me sad. They were so bland. They were undercooked. I watched them put the fries into the fryer, and yet they did not taste fried. The only redeeming quality to the fries was the Heinz ketchup it came with.
Finally, the egg waffle. Friends, it was raw. I bit into it, and it was raw. Just waffle batter. The common theme in this menu is a lack of seasoning, but these were bland too. Did I eat it? Yes. Did I feel bad about myself after? Also yes.
All in all, the Gong-Cha menu is bland. But, it’s cheap. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s easy. We had six menu items ready for us in less than 10 minutes. It’s the epitome of girl dinner.
But, hey, at least the bubble tea is always good.