Tragically, many foreign food restaurants and bakeries in Korea at best can only be rated as good for Korea. Not many are good full stop. One place that is good full stop is Ganga, an authentic style Indian restaurant located in Haeundae and nine other locations in Korea. Mainly they serve Indian cuisine from the Hydrabad region, but they also serve Tandoori, Rawachirhanas, and Kerala styles of Indian cuisine. They have been located in Haeundae since 2003.
Since at the moment I am unemployed and otherwise unoccupied during the week, I took advantage of my rather empty schedule to make a day trip down to Busan to enjoy Ganga’s lunch special. Really, if you do find yourself with a day off during the week that is not a holiday, and if you love Indian food, make the trip down to Ganga for their lunch special. It is well worth it. What do you get if you order the lunch special? You get a section of tandoori chicken, green salad, your choice of one of nine curries, rice or naan (butter or garlic), and drink, soda pop, tea or coffee. Sounds good? It is. How about cost, though? 22,000 won. It used to be listed at 20,000 won, but 10% VAT would be added at the till. So, it is still comes out to the same price. Is it worth it? Totally.
Not having anything better to do today, my wife and I set out for Ganga with great expectations. By the time we had ordered, my mouth had been watering for quite some time. This wasn’t the first time we have capitalized on a work free weekday to go to Ganga and feast on their lunch special. Usually we get the chicken makhni, and the Malbari Mutton Madras, but this time we went for the chicken tikka misala instead of the chicken mahkni. We also ordered one rice and one butter naan.
I am sorry to report that of all the times I have been there, today was the first time some of the food had been less than great. The tandoori chicken was dry and lacked its usual flavour. It was slightly bland, like they didn’t marinate it enough. Usually, the tandoori chicken tastes fantastic, slightly tender and moist, with a bit of heat to it. As this was the first dish we were served, I was apprehensive that the rest of the meal would not be up to Ganga’s usual standards. My fears were soon laid to rest. The rest of the meal was delicious. The mutton curry tasted great, and they gave ample pieces meat. Some places try to skimp on the meat they serve in their curries, but not Ganga. The chicken tikka masala was similarly good. It was spicy enough to give you a little heat, but nowhere over powering. Usually at the end of our meal we still have a bit of curry left so we order some extra naan to soak up the rest of the curry. Today, we ordered some garlic naan to finish off the meal. It was buttery and garlicky, and tasty. When we finished the meal we were completely stuffed.
What if you can’t make it down during the week and need to go on the weekend? Sadly, Ganga is usually quite pricey and it seems they have put up the prices on their regular menu. Keep in mind that the new prices include VAT while their old prices did not. They do offer set menus. They start at 30,000 won for lunch sets and 35,000 won for dinner sets, and go up to 50,000 won and 60,000 won respectively. I took some pictures of the menus and I will include them at the bottom.
How to get there? One way would be to take the bus to Nopo Dong. Either bus 1127 or 1137. Then take the subway to Haeundae (editor’s note – this takes almost 2 hours) There is an intercity bus that goes directly to Haeundae (editor’s note – there is both an express and a slow bus, the express is 45mins, the slow is 1hr30 mins, approximately). Finally, there is the slow train from Taehwa River Station to Haeundae (Munghwa train takes about one hour, the Sameul train takes about 40-45 mins). It is a pleasant train trip, I highly recommend it. *From the Haeundae Train station (which is right by both the bus terminal and the Haeundae subway stop) walk down towards the beach. Ganga is in the same building as the Starbucks, on the basement level.
Ganga has a website, http://www.ganga.co.kr/en/main.html
Sorry the menu pictures are not that good.
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