I have an adventurous group of friends and we are always challenging each other to try things. This year we've been daring each other to try different cuisines. You may remember in July we went to a French restaurant, The Church, in Stratford ON.
Well Deb's dad, John, was in town this week for a visit and challenged us to try Korean. So off we went to Gangnam Style BBQ, 611 Wonderland Road in London ON.
It is a tiny restaurant in a plaza but the decor is clean and bright and fresh with a mixture of booths and tables. The staff were young and helpful and very good-natured.
We all ordered the all-you-can-eat barbecue so we could try lots of different things for $24.95.
Our drinks came out and then a tray of suspicious looking sides . . . bean sprouts, kimchi and a cold potato something. We tentatively tasted them. The bean sprouts were 'normal', the potatoes were good, the kimchi was a bit spicy.
These are the three dipping sauces we received . . . teriyaki, spicy mayo and Hawaiian. The spicy mayo was VERY spicy but I loved the other two. In fact several of us ordered extra Hawaiian sauce because it was just so delicious.
Linda and I ordered one of every kind of meat combination available . . . spicy chicken, dak gui (boneless marinated chicken), bulgogi (thin slices of marinated beef), kalbi (boneless short ribs), samgyupsal (Korean style bacon) and some kind of marinated pork.
The barbecue is in the middle of the table so you get get to cook your foods any way you wish and with whatever sides and sauces you wish.
I think that, besides the fact that all the food was delicious, fresh and plentiful, the best part of going to this restaurant is that you are 'allowed' to play with your food. My favourite combination was the spicy chicken, bacon and kimchi with pineapple sauce.
You can eat the food anyway you wish. The favourite was layering bites in lettuce leaves, rolling them up and biting in. So fresh and yummy. Sometimes we ate piece by piece. Sometimes we made up a nice plate with sticky rice, side dishes, meat and sauces.
Since none of us had ever tried Korean food before we had no way of knowing if it was really Korean or not . . . but judging by the number of guests of Asian descent in the restaurant over the couple of hours we were there I think it is safe to say it is the real deal.
Everyone tried out the chopsticks. Linda became a pro at it pretty quickly.
It took Connie a little longer to catch on, but she did.
When our host found out we were first-times and from out of town he gave us all melon ice cream bars for dessert. And it was delicious.
They even took a group shot for us.