Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee gave Ginger and Soy and Gyotaku feedback and discussed the upcoming food truck rodeo at its meeting Thursday.

Jaeyeon Kim, catering director for Ara Hospitality which manages Ginger and Soy and Gyotaku, asked to hear DUSDAC’s thoughts on the venues' current offerings. She emphasized how the chefs are open and receptive to student feedback. DUSDAC members commented on the popularity of the Korean specialty item bibimbap, but noted the lack of other traditional Asian dishes.

“Duke students hold on-campus vendors to a pretty high standard,” said senior Quinn Steven, DUSDAC co-chair.

After receiving feedback from DUSDAC on menu items, Kim indicated that Ginger and Soy wants to make major changes to its dumpling station.

“Dumplings sales are not as high as we would like them to be,” Kim said.

In order to boost sales, Ginger and Soy plans to revamp its dumplings menu over the summer. New items may include pork belly buns, beef dumplings in chili oil and bibim, which is a type of Korean dumpling. DUSDAC taste-tested the pork belly buns at the end of its meeting.

Ginger and Soy also shared its plans for a new series of signature bowls. Each bowl will feature meats, toppings and sauces that are popular in a specific city in Asia, including Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo as possible bowl themes. Ginger and Soy’s goal is to appeal to a wide variety of culinary traditions and taste palettes, Kim explained.

Gyotaku will also offer several new items next year, including poke pizza and re-designed sushi burritos. Kim described poke pizza as “mixed poke toppings on top of a crispy [corn tortilla] base.” The poke pizza option will be piloted as a speciality item at Gyotaku for three days next week, Kim added. Towards the end of the meeting, DUSDAC members tasted shrimp tempura and spicy tuna sushi burritos.

Both Ginger and Soy and Gyotaku also plan to make menu changes to accommodate students' food allergies and dietary restrictions.

For example, Ginger and Soy offers a gluten-free teriyaki sauce, and Gyotaku is exploring a vegetarian poke substitute called ahimi. Ahimi is made from marinated tomato, but “looks just like raw tuna” and has a similar texture, Kim said.

In other business

DUSDAC will host its annual food truck rodeo Friday. Steven noted that the first 200 students at the rodeo will receive 10 tickets—equal to 10 dollars—to pay for their meals. Chick-N-Que and Let’s Eat Homestyle are two of the food trucks that will be at the rodeo.

In addition, DUSDAC discussed potential plans for the Brodhead Center to use compostable or recyclable to-go containers next semester. Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey asked DUSDAC if students would be willing to pay an up-charge for such containers. Members agreed that they thought students would pay for the containers despite the extra cost.