We preface this post by saying that we don’t know a lot about Korean food, but we heard that GaNaDaRa was the home of the best Korean food in Montreal, so we’re starting on top and making our way down. We’ve been on quite the ramen crawl lately, and Asian noms in general, and a friend recommended GaNaDaRa for something different. He promised us the happiness that we get from a nice warm bowl of ramen, but with something different, a Korean edge known as ramyun.
If you don’t know much about Korean food you at least know something about kimchi. This traditional Korean topping is made up of fermented cabbage with varied seasonings which, in sum, pickles the vegetables. There are so many variations of kimchi, GaNaDaRa brought us a little bowl as an amuse bouche the second we walked in, it introduced the flavours of the restaurant right away, and we were excited to taste what was to come!
Apparently there is always a lineup to eat at GaNaDaRa, we specifically chose a very rain Thursday evening when the Habs were playing in the hopes that Montrealers would be watching the game and hiding from the rain, but we still had to wait! But oh was it worth it! Tobboki is a type of Korean street food, rice cakes and fish cakes, prepared in a Gochujang chilli sauce base. We ordered the seafood tobboki with shrimp, squid, mussels, scallops, cabbage and a hardboiled egg. We adored it, it was topped with a hard boiled egg which was delicious when dipped in the accompanied sauce!
We warn you that the tobboki is spicy but though poor Sweet Pea’s mouth was burning, she couldn’t stop eating it, it was that delicious! We even poured the leftover sauce that pooled in the bottom of our bowl over our bibimbap for extra flavour. Besides Korean kimchi you may have heard of bibimbap, another more popular Korean dish. As we said, we’re not Korean food experts, but we love kimchi and we’ve tried bibimbap, so our expertise ends there. Bibimbap is a bowl of rice, topped with vegetables, more of that Gochujang chili sauce, and soy sauce or a fermented soy bean paste. An egg usually tops this dish (raw or fried) and some form of meat!
Bibimbap is usually served cold but GaNaDaRa has cold and warm bibimbaps. We chose a warm one, served in a sizzling stone bowl with a fried egg, bean sprouts and minced beef. We would have preferred a very soft boiled egg that we could mix into this rice dish, we have had it this way before and it adds more flavour to the dish. Carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, etc are just some of the vegetables in this particular bibimbap. This layered dish is meant to be mixed all together before enjoying, they even gave us a divine Korean BBQ sauce to top the bibimbap, which added a saucy element.
Much to Sweet Pea’s chagrin ramen has been our life lately. A ramen craving hit and it sent us on a ramen crawl throughout the city. In Korea, Japanese ramen is known as ramyun and they’ve made this Japanese comfort food into a more Korean dish by making it spicier and even adding a piece of sliced cheese on top. That’s right cheese, Ganadara offers their ramyun with a Kraft single partially melted on top from the heat of the broth – we weren’t in the mood for cheese on our ramyun, so we declined!
Unlike ramen that is predominantly a broth made of pork and pork bones, ramyun is made with beef broth. We also tried the kimchi ramyun which was lighter than the bulgogi ramyun, which is a barbecued beef stew that was heavenly. Both ramyun soups came with green onions and a raw egg that was partially cooked by the hot broth, you need to mix it in your soup for added decadence. Sweet Pea says that she’s fed up with ramen but she didn’t have to order ramyun, GaNaDaRa has a lengthy menu that’s filled with delicious Korean delicacies – but we know that she secretly loves ramen!
We aren’t experts of Korean cuisine, but we assure you that we loved GaNaDaRa and want to try the many other Korean dishes that we didn’t have a chance to try! Everything was fresh, full of flavour, and the spices were different from Japanese ramen and Chinese dishes that we are more accustomed to. Next time we’ll even toss a slice of Kraft cheese on our ramyun, since everyone is doing it 😉
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 1862 Maisonneuve, Asian Food, bibimbap, bulgogi, bulgogi ramyun, Dolsot bibimbap, Ganadara, Ganadara Korean restaurant, Ganadara Montreal, H3H 1J9, Kimchi, kimchi ramyun, Korean food, Korean street food, kraft cheese, Montreal Asian, Montreal Korean, ramyun, ramyun soup, Seafood Tobboki, tobboki