#aucklandeats: Unlocking The Hidden Delight in Ponsonby

by Michelle Li

Gganbu Korean Restaurant | 38 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011

Google Reviews | GGANBU Korean Restaurant

I’ve got a hidden spot for you! Gganbu has been open for a while now, but I haven’t heard much chatter, so I hadn't given them a shot until now. But man, do I regret only trying them out now because I have been missing out! Turns out, this not-so-talked-about spot is a hidden gem to be discovered. I decided to give them a try after seeing my friend’s mum rave online that Gganbu was the best Korean restaurant they’ve been to with a ‘highly recommend.’ And I figured, if a Korean mum gave the stamp of approval, then it’s got to be top-notch, right?


Their menu boasts a whopping 23 fried chicken options! 23! And that’s only half the menu! I was in a dilemma picking what to order because there was such a wide variety of choices I wanted to try so many of them. Okay so, don’t at me but I’m not a fried chicken fan. But I ordered one anyway because seeing how they had so many fried chicken choices, I figured it must’ve been their specialty.  I picked the Crazy Potato Chicken – boneless chicken draped in these tiny potato cubes, then fried to crispy perfection. And must I say, though I don’t really enjoy fried chicken, this was absolutely BOMB 💣 Actually, the best fried chicken I’ve ever had 🍗🔥 The meat was so tender and juicy that when I bit into it, I could see the glossy meat juice ooze out. The meat is so tender and soft, yet the outside is so crispy too! Literally, every single corner of chicken and potato was crispy, which I loved. Why eat fried chicken if it is soggy and not crispy? The potato cubes were so delicious, no fries in the world I’ve had can even compare to them. It was truly an addicting dish! I was literally snacking on them like there's no tomorrow. But wait, there's more! 


I also went for the beef tartare and the beef small intestine soup. Beef tartare are thinly sliced raw beef with pear or apple slices, topped with a golden egg yolk and some tasty sauce. A personal fave and Gganbu just claimed the throne as my go-to spot for it. Usually, I'd hesitate because you pay a pretty penny for a teeny portion elsewhere. Not here – Gganbu piles it on! The beef was fresh and flavorful, and they didn't skimp on the goods. Price, portion, and taste-wise, this dish is just so worth it 🙌 I literally got full from eating just this dish when usually it just acts as a side for me.

Google Reviews | GGANBU Korean Restaurant

Last but not least, beef small intestine soup, aka gopchang jeongol (곱창전골). Spicy, stew-y goodness made with beef intestines, veggies, and beef broth. Gganbu's twist? Rice cakes, glass noodles, and even some spam in the mix! This can be a tricky one because if the intestines are not prepared right, it can have an unpleasant odour to it, but there’s none of this here. And you know how there are times when you order a dish but there are only a few pieces of the main ingredient which leads to disappointment? Well, Gganbu’s did not disappoint at all. There’s plenty in it! Pieces of gopchang just keep coming out, to the point I could not believe how much they put in 😳

So, there you have it, my adventure in flavour at Gganbu! From an unassuming hidden spot to a full-blown culinary gem, this place surprised me in the best possible way. Who would've thought that a restaurant that wasn't making much noise would turn out to be such a game-changer? I highly recommend the Crazy Potato Chicken. Mind-blowingly crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside – even a fried chicken sceptic like me couldn't resist. Gganbu knows how to satisfy without holding back on the good stuff. Lesson learned: always trust a Korean mum's recommendation!

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