Sherman's Food Adventures: Wong Ga Ma

Wong Ga Ma

Boy, haven't been back to Wong Ga Ma in 8 years!  Even though I really enjoyed that visit, I never returned until now...  Call it the curse of "too many good restaurants to visit" phenomenon.  I guess it is also with regret I ate at some places that were mediocre during that time.  Maybe I do need to dine at some of my favourites more often.  Then I know my money is going towards something guaranteed to be tasty.  I have done that with Mauna Sushi lately, so maybe it is a start of a trend...

Anyways, the menu at Wong Ga Ma is pretty standard with all the usual things like tofu soup, noodles, rice dishes and grilled meats.  However, one has to order at least one soup because they are good!  As such we started with the Bbeodagi-Gamjatang that sported 3 large and meaty pork bones.  This thing was served boiling hot (like it should be) and topped with perilla seeds.  The soup was fantastic being meaty and full of depth with a background spiciness.  Loved the pork bones as the meat melted in my mouth.  It was served with a hot stone bowl of rice that eventually sported a crunchy socarrat.  The trick is to soak it with the soup after you eat the rice.

We also got the Yuk Gae Jang with shredded beef, green onion, bracken, bean sprouts and potato starch noodle.  This was noticeably spicier and due to the use of beef, featured a completely different flavour profile than the gamjatang.  It was not porky and had an almost meatier and robust taste.  As for the beef, it was actually rather tender despite being a little bit dry.  Both the bracken and bean sprouts added a crunch texture to the whole thing while the noodles were slippery and soaked up the broth.  This was also served with a side of hot stone bowl rice.  Best to leave the rice in the stone bowl for a while without touching it to create that socarrat.

To get something noodley, we ordered the Spicy Cold Noodle Soup.  This was a bit clumpier than usual, but I was able to get it to loosen up after some aggressive noodle tossing with my chopsticks.  Texturally, the noodles were on point though being the usual chewiness with a tonne of rebound.  Great mouth feel and the ample amount of spicy sauce kept things sweet with some heat.  Completing the dish was pickled cukes and daikon, half boiled egg and sliced beef shank.

To add even more meat to the meal and to go with the rest of our rice, we got the Kalbi served on a hot cast iron plate.  As much as it arrived sizzling, the short ribs were not exactly caramelized.  Hence, the flavours were not very intense and there was a lack of smokiness.  The ribs themselves were meaty and fatty.  Naturally, some parts were more tender than others, but that is the way short ribs are.

We must not forget the Kimchi that is included with our meals.  It consisted of the usual napa cabbage kimchi as well as daikon radish.  These were pretty solid being packed with flavour and spice.  It was just tangy enough and the textures were appealing.  Loved the crunch of the daikon.  Overall, it was another solid meal at Wong Ga Ma.  Would've liked to see the ribs prepared a bit better, but the soups were the real treat.
The Good:
- Solid eats
- Must get soup!
- Good kimchi

The Bad:
- Not too sure about the ribs


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