I am an admirer of the fine selection of Asian restaurants from the Western side of the city, especially Kantstrasse, but when it comes to genuine Korean restaurant I was told to rather go on the other side of the Berlin. And, as usual, I take the recommendations of my friends very seriously, but for various reasons, I delayed with putting it into pratice. Only the rain and hunger brought me a couple of days ago at one of the outdoor wooden lego-like tables of the Gong Gan restaurant on Schwedter Str. 2.
The menu choices are relatively limited with medium prices. It has a breakfast option for around 6 EUR. which includes various European toasts.
Too late for a toast, I wanted to seriously start the investigation of the state of the art of the Korean food in Berlin with something original. Like the famous Bibimbap, that was brought to me relatively fast, but with metal chopsticks which is not necessarily my choice no.1 in hygienic terms. Warned to 'mix up' the content, I had a look at the ingredients: rice, tofu, shreds of carrots, finely sliced onions, salad, hot sauce, some crest, ruccola (ingredient which I bet is not part of the original recipe). It went out good, with the green leaves balancing the hotness of the sauce. The original bibimbap also has an egg on the top, and various sorts of bean pasta too, and used to be served on the eve of the lunar new year as a mixture of all the leftover found in the house. It is mostly known in the meaty variant. The overall impression was good and healty, but not unforgettable.
What left unforgettable memories to my palate was the gree hot macha tea. Original green tea, served moderatelly hot, sugarless and with that original taste that I only remember from my genuine foodie Japanese adventures. Most probably, from now on I will look for a long time for this taste.
Design-wise, the place looks from inside as a crowded antiquities shop, but looking for my outdoor bench seems like an interesting place to explore. There is also a lego corner, where I assume is enjoyable for everyone's inner child. The ambiance was pleasant, with nice service and jazz musical background from the 1920s.
Gong Gan is open daily between 9 and 19 from Monday to Thursday and between 9 and 22 from Friday to Saturday. Although not sure if I will be back soon, at least this restaurant opened the series of what I hope to be many other tasty reviews of Korean food in Berlin.