There's no place like home. Yet the next closest thing is bringing the tastes of hometown to your newest destination. That's exactly what Korean housewife Kim So Seob specializes in doing.
Korean restaurant GaGaHoHo celebrates its 8th Anniversary this year. This quaint, cosy restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui upholds one theme we all relate to and feel for: family.
Madam Kim grew up watching her mother from the kitchen. It's where she learned and mastered her cooking, in particular the art of making rice cakes-- GaGaHoHo's signature dish. The meals offered there are precisely what Madam Kim's children have gone home to for decades. For those of us whose parents are good cooks, we would know. The taste of home cooked meals is unpretentiously and heart-warmingly delicious.
Perhaps unbeknownst to many Hongkongers, Korean New Year occurs at the same time as Chinese New Year, and is just as celebrated as the latter. Approaching the turn of the year, GaGaHoHo has introduced a brand new menu (and a complimentary dish to spark our appetites).
As a fan of all dishes beef, the LA Prime Ribs is a must-try on the new menu. It's debatable why the Korean dish is named after a Southern California city. Whether it's invented by Korean settlers in LA, or an abbreviation of 'lateral' on the way the ribs are cut-- it's a mystery. What isn't, is how sweet and tender it is. Madam Kim's seasoning is a mix of soy sauce, pear, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper. It creates wonders, and makes this dish second to none.
If unlike me, you don't worship beef, there's Spicy Pork to go to. The seasoning is a blend of Korean chilli paste and powder, sugar, and sesame oil, mixed into crushed apple chunks and garlic. It's not as spicy as I had anticipated; in fact, it leans towards sweet, but it's indeed very tasty. Of course, you'll know when you taste it-- when you find yourself gulping down spoonfuls of rice with every small bite of pork.
If you like all things steaming hot and mixed into one another, the Bulgogi Hotpot Rice is your go-to choice. The dish is a combination of beef and various vegetables, including spinach, bean sprout, carrot, pumpkin, pickled radish, egg, and lettuce, with sesame oil and Korean chilli paste. Considering the ingredients it's all fairly healthy and guilt-free for a luxurious meal break. Personally I love flavoured rice, and I think this dish is seasoning done right.
Adding to the wonder, the above mentioned are all served in trays and accompanied by a lovely assortment of side dishes. That includes many Korean tastes such as kimchi, egg rolls, fish cake slices, cucumber, diced potato, and bean sprouts. The best part? They're refillable to your preference if available.
Seafood is a luxury that most can't resist, so here's something that'll definitely spark some interest. The Spicy Seafood Jjambbong is every seafood lover's personal heaven. All ingredients are stir fried before they're added to the soup-- making everything extra rich in tasting. It's excellent news if you're hungry; there's a generous helping of seafood, and the aroma of the soup itself is mouth-watering. Being spicier than the other dishes, this is one of the more appetizing yet fulfilling meals of the store.
Of course, you haven't tried anything yet if you haven't had the Korean Rice Cake Soup with Dumplings. In traditional Korean culture, the completion of the previous year is marked by this very soup, also known as Tteokguk in Korean. Now I'm not usually a fan of rice cakes, but this dish has me questioning my preferences. The balance between the tastiness of the soup and that of the rice cakes and dumplings is a delicate one, but Madam Kim seems to have grasped it just right. The homemade anchovy soup base, seasoned with battered egg and spring onion, is very rich in taste. It brilliantly counters the blander, but chewy rice cakes in the soup. The soup provides the flavour, and the content gives all the texture-- all like a pair made in heaven.
If you haven't yet known GaGaHoHo, I strongly suggest you have a taste of their homemade wonders. What's more, in celebration of Korean New Year, GaGaHoHo has introduced a complimentary dish-- Korean Rice Cake Fritters-- at dinner time from January 8, 2017 to February 28, 2017. Give Korea's local tastes a try and I promise you, you will not regret it.
Address: Shop 1, G/F, Everglory Centre, 1B Kimberly Street, Tsim Sha Tsui
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Phone No.: 3151 7200
Written by Vivien Au