Meal Type: A La Carte
Price: $49.5 CAD
Gangnam Street Food is a new restaurant in Edmonton that serves korean style streed food. It’s located on 34th avenue where there’s been a recent crop of korean businesses popping up and honestly, the whole korean scene is booming. It’s a relatively new taste that’s arrived in town and I for one am extremely glad to have the variety. Business has apparantly been good, as they have opened up a second location in WEM as well after bursting onto the scene for not even a whole year! My companion and I ordered a bunch of different items and tried everything but because there are no true “appetizers” and “mains”, I won’t separate the review as such.
Gangnam serves authentic korean street food, just as the name implies. The pricing of the entire menu is reminiscient of a food truck and the presentation is also very faithful to what you would expect buying street food anywhere else in the city. I can’t comment on how “authentic” it is to actual korean street food but I would trust the experts here!
Bulgogi Kimbab ($8.50)
Seasoned rice, vegetables, and BBQ beef wrapped in roasted seaweed
I’ve never had korean food so this looked like a sushi roll, smelled like one too. As such, my expectations where exactly where they would be if I was trying a new roll for the first time. The seaweed was somewhat chewy and the vegetables were nice and snappy. The rice didn’t taste any different from regular boiled rice so I’m not sure what it was seasoned with — I would imagine they only used salt and the seaweed’s ocean taste completely overpowered it. The vegetables were bland and the main things you could taste in one bite was the seaweed and the bulgogi. While the bulgogi is the star of this dish, I would have preferred some of the vegetables coming through a little bit more than just the crunchiness of them. That being said, this was still a very good dish and for the price point I would definitely recommend getting one. Maybe next time I will go with the regular so the vegetables have a chance to shine through!
Sausage Cheddar Hot Dog ($6.50)
Korean style breaded sausage wrapped with sliced cheddar cheese
The closest I was able to associate this menu item was to a corndog. But, as you can see it looks much different to a corndog. Much like it was visually, biting into it released a taste that was not at all what you would expect. The gooey cheddar completely overtakes the sausage inside and makes you feel like you’re eating a pizza on a stick (on a side note, somebody should make a pizza on a stick!). I don’t know what the flakes on the outside were and I could not pick up any discernible taste from them. The moist and sharp cheddar was nicely complimented by the breading which soaked up the cheese. The chewy-ness of the sausage added a nice contrast to how melty the cheese was and really brought the entire thing together. Definitely a good decision to order this, you can’t really go wrong.
Sausage Mozza Sugar Hot Dog ($6.50)
Korean Style breaded sausage wrapped with sliced mozza cheese and sugar dressed
With the many options available to us, I would have been remiss not to order multiple styles of hot dogs, especially one as different as this. In retrospect, having a salted hot dog might have turned out better than the sugar coated one they had. The mozzarella is buttery and creamy but unfortunately, the sugar does nothing to enchance that flavour. Biting into it is like biting into a milk curd with sugar. While some may find this combination intriguing, I found it off-putting. Of the two hot dogs, this was not the better one. The cheese and breading worked harmoniously with the sausage in the first one, but here the sugar is too much and does nothing to actually add to the experience. If you can, skip this one.
Dak Gang Jung ($6.50)
Deep-fried breaded boneless chicken with spicy sauce
Fried chicken done right! I’m not sure what the sauce was made of but it had the right amount of heat and the right amount of stick. It reminded me a lot of a sweet and sticky type of sauce you might find in chinese cuisine and with the deep fried chicken tasted like heaven. This was the star of the meal and would be a big reason why I would come back. It’s a little expensive on price and if you’re sharing with someone, it will immediately disappear. That being said, it makes for a filling snack if you’re looking to eat light for a meal. I can’t express how delightful the sauce was, just go and order this as soon as you can!
Kko Chi ($6.50)
Pork belly skewers
Classic grilled pork belly in whatever BBQ sauce they use. The sauce was forgettable, but the pork belly was as tender as I’ve ever had it. If you like a bit of fat in your meat, this is the perfect item to order. Imagine going in for a bite of meat and getting something that melts in your mouth instead, and you would be close to how this tasted. For $6.50, I would have wished the skewers to be a bit larger or maybe had another skewer included in the order. While the skewers are delicious and savoury, they are not satisfying due to the amount you are provided. This is still a must-order if you visit here and I would highly recommend getting the spicy version as I imagine it’s the same type of sauce used as with the chicken.
Bulgogi Cup-Bab ($7.50)
Seasoned rice and vegetables with marinated thin sliced beef bulgogi, stir-fried kimchi and pork sausage
A rice bowl with a twist! I could have done without the beef, it was pale and didn’t taste fresh. The sausages on the other hand had a slight kick to them and if we had ordered the spicy pork one instead, I would not have complained at all. The kimchi added much needed texture to the entire dish but it still seemed to be missing something. The rice was extremely dry so maybe a sauce of some type? If it was up to me, I would drench it in the same spicy sauce that was used with the chicken. Honestly, I can’t talk enough about how good that sauce was. You should still order a Cup-Bab but maybe go for the spicy pork one instead.
Gangnam Street Food is a welcome addition to the Edmonton food scene but unfortunately has a lot of competition to contend with. The uniqueness of their fare will set them apart from the other restaurants but I fear the portion sizes or the pricing might throw them out of the limelight. If you need a quick eat on the go, this is a great place to stop into but for those that are more interested in cheap eats, I would avoid this place. All in all, Gangnam Street Food is something every Edmontontian should experience as it is a different experience from anything else you will find in the city.
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