You’ve probably turned a blind eye to GaNaDaRa, but you’re really missing out
Near Concordia’s Hall building and the Guy-Concordia metro entrance sits a small Korean restaurant. It isn’t easy to spot, in fact, you’ve probably walked by it a few times without knowing. The best way to find out about this place is to know someone who’s been. Luckily, I’ve been, so I’ll give you the scoop.
GaNaDaRa is a family-run restaurant that opened up back in 2012. It features traditional Korean dishes by incorporating a variety of fresh ingredients and flavours. There’s also poutine.
GaNaDaRa has undergone a major restaurant makeover since the last time I visited making it practically unrecognizable. I had to ask the host just to make sure I was in the right place.
I won’t lie, I liked the old decor better. The space used to be bright and colourful with its walls covered with haikus and cute paintings of animals and trees. Thankfully, my favourite part, the big flat screen TV blasting K-Pop music videos still remains.
Regardless, the new style is still aesthetically pleasing. GaNaDaRa decided to go for a more industrial look, and that definitely makes the establishment feel more classy and refined.
I decided to be adventurous. If I was going to write a review of my favourite Korean restaurant in Montreal, I was going try something from their menu that was a little more exciting than my usual Chicken Curry Katsu, which is delicious chicken breast fried in breadcrumbs and covered in Katsu curry sauce. I was confident beforehand that my tolerance for spicy food was low, but I ordered one of their spicier dishes just to test myself.
As an appetizer, my friend Paulina and I got an order of tokochi which is fried rice cakes in a sweet and spicy sauce. I had never had a rice cake before so I was not sure what to expect. As quoted by Paulina, “it’s like eating a cloud.” There was a crunch upon biting into it, and then the texture became smooth, light and heavenly. The flavour was all in the sauce; the sweetness is what hits you first and then there’s a kick of heat, making it a perfect balance between the two.
For my entree, I went for the Dak Galbi Dupbap. It’s chicken, kimchi, onions, zucchini and carrots all served on a bed of rice in a spicy sauce. Delicious. The vegetables were so pleasant and helped to cool down my pallet. My sinuses were surely clear after that.
Everything is super affordable. GaNaDaRa houses mostly a student population (since it’s so close to Concordia and other schools). Main dishes vary from $7-10 and appetizers are as low as $4. It’s the place for any student on a budget. Not to mention, the portions are huge.
If you’re looking for something with a kick, I would definitely suggest what I ordered, the Dak Galbi Dupbap or their Dolsot Bibimbap. For a milder dish, a cheese Ramyun or beef/chicken Katsu would be best. As for something vegetarian, there are plenty of options, but I would go for a Kimbap. They kind of look like rolls of maki sushi and there are plenty of variations to choose from.
GaNaDaRa is located at 1862 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West.
Contact them at 514-933-2288.