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Authentic Korean at last?

I have always enjoyed Korean food because I like spicy stuff and the cuisine is generally quite healthy. Granted my experiences have been limited to Korean stalls at food courts and one rather decent one in a mall, I have a pretty good idea what Korean food is about.

J & I walked past Gang Na Roo many times, on route to other restaurants. This restaurant is literally a hole-in-wall. But each time, there were a few patrons, some even looked Koreans! More importantly, the staff looked like their flight from Korea just landed and I am totally sold! I told myself I would have to go in soon.

Finally, yesterday was the day! We were slightly early as I was hungry and got there before seven o'clock. There was not a single soul inside the restaurant other than the service people hanging out at the back part of the restaurant. I started to feel hestitant but decided to just go for it.

Once inside, a waitress, who seemed to be the daughter of the owner/cook, served us Korean tea. As we looked through the menu, a few more patrons stepped in. Phew! The menu had pictures and was simply categorised into soups, steamboat, meat/seafood, rice/noodle, pancake, others and drinks. I knew I wanted a spicy soup for it was a cold day so I went for one that promised "many vegetables and tofu" (sorry, can't remember the Korean name). J got his fail-safe, standard chicken bulgogi or BBQ chicken on a hot plate and also ordered a single portion of Samgye-tang or ginseng chicken soup. I had to fight the urge of ordering the Korean pancakes for the fear of over-ordering, which J&I had the tendency to do so. It was tough because I had read about them pancakes from a few blogs in the past and the delicious-looking picture on the menu did not help at all. I told myself, "Let's hope what we are happy with our orders so we can come back again soon. Then I can order the pancakes!!"

Soon after placing our orders, our panchan came. There were 5 different types - kimchee that was very garlicky, cold garlic shoots that had been stirfried with firm tofu and sesame dressing, boiled spinach with sesame dressing, sweet & saltish fried peanuts and pickled daikon.

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The dishes came very soon after. First came the bulgogi. The chicken was not as temperature hot so it could have been cooked separately and then placed onto the metal hotplate for show only. Tastewise, J thought it was good though he had better.

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Next up was the ginseng chicken soup. Half a chicken was served with the body cavity stuffed with glutinous rice, a ginseng shoot, and a couple of gingko nuts and a chestnut, served in an individual earthenware pot. The soup was rich and tasty but not much ginseng flavour came through.
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Finally came my soup. It was surprisingly not as spicy as I thought it would be, despite the many chilli slices in the soup. The soup base also had bean paste which was my first encounter. It was generously filled with shiitake & enoki mushrooms, white onions, potato, leeks, firm tofu slices, cucumbers and green onions. Really wonderful!
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Though the food was not fantastic, it had a home-cooked, family style sort of feeling associated, that I like and appreciated. The meal came up close to S$40, which is not really cheap but given the authenticity of the food and of the service staff, not to mention I totally dig the long silver metal chopsticks and metal spoons, and lots of yummy food yet to be tried, I will be back.

Gang Na Roo

35 Circular Rd

Tel : 6538 2837


Anonymous said…
Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about food service. It pretty much covers food service related stuff.
shallowroamer said…
hi there, i was surfing around for korean food n chance upon ya blog. :P i have a great liking for them as well... maybe u would like to try 'togi' at china town.sorry i dun rem where the exact place is, but near meizhenxiang there.ha sorry too vague. opened by kors too n the lady boss is nice. u may wanna try food republic at wisma as well... kors too... and they serve gd kimchi soup!

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