Recently I had the privilege of attending a special dinner at Gan Shan Station in north Asheville for the unveiling of their new dinner menu. They got rid of their lunch service to concentrate on an elevated dinner experience featuring some of their most popular dishes along with some new items. Gan Shan is one of the most recommended restaurants in town by locals so I couldn't wait to try out the revamped menu!
I went with my friend Jen and we didn't hold back on the ordering because everything looked so dang good! Gan Shan's menu is suited for sharing a variety of dishes with your dinner date. If you like tasting lots of different flavors (like me) it's the perfect place for that!
We started with a round of their scratch-made cocktails, a vanilla rum Old Fashioned for me and a strawberry and Sriracha vodka cocktail for her. Then they brought out some of their 'dumplings of the day,' a roasted mushroom and corn combination that didn't need any meat to be delicious. We got our protein fix with the "Treasure Purse," a sausage, bacon, and fried egg trifecta served over local rice. Both dishes brought tons of flavor.
Our favorite dish of the entire evening came next, the Okonomiyaki cabbage pancake with pork belly, kimchi, and a load of other bright and flavorful ingredients. I hate to compare chef Patrick O'Cain's creative Asian fare to something like the Waffle House, but imagine you got a plate of WH hashbrowns, somehow made them better, and added pork belly. That's what the Okonomiyaki tastes like. You have to HAVE TO order this!
For my main course I stayed true to form and ordered the pork ramen bowl. If I see ramen on a menu there's a 99% chance I'll order it. I loved it, especially the broth with the crunchy vegetables and velvety egg yolk mixed in.
We also needed to know about the chili and cumin ribs smoked on-site at the restaurant, then fried and seasoned. They were sooooo good. If you love a good smoky flavor you really must try these.
I ran into chef and owner Patrick O'Cain while there and had to take a pic with my fellow Asheville High grad! Then Jen and Micah, both contributors to the Asheville Food Network, jumped in and made it a party!
The best thing about Gan Shan Station is how adventurous the menu feels. You'll recognize several dishes and ingredients but there are always flavors mixed in that you've never heard of or tried and that makes it a whole experience worthy of any foodie's palette. As I already mentioned, it's the perfect place to go with your boo or another couple to sample several shared plates. That way you get a good mix of everything Gan Shan has to offer.
Thank you to Gan Shan Station for hosting us! I can't wait to go back and try even more dishes on the new menu. Always with the Okonomiyaki of course.
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OFF THE SHOULDER TOP // RIPPED JEANS // HEELED SANDALS