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Sep 29, 2012 01:51 PM


Wife and I gave newly opened Ganso in downtown a shot last night, fresh off of our recent experience with a disappointing Dassara. Ganso is very close to Fulton Mall, with a very Momofuku-like interior, clean, lots of wood, open kitchen behind glass. When we arrived around 7:30 there was only one 2 top left and a handful of bar seats. We started with a delicious plate of wings, about 8 to an order. We had the 2 ramen pork dishes, mine a soy brother, hers spicy miso. I enjoyed mine, the namesake Ganso, but thought the spicy miso was even better. The menu was fairly small with only a short rib ramen and a vegetarian ramen as the other 2 mains.

I believe each ramen was $12 and a very solid portion. If I had one complaint I would like a bit more greens, but otherwise we both left satisfied. What impressed me most was that despite being open for only a week, and despite a packed house on a Friday night, service was perfect. We will definitely be back again.

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  1. We enjoyed Ganso a lot too. We got the soy sauce (pork) ramen and the short rib ramen, along with pork buns and various other apps. We thought the ramen was better than the apps, pork buns were nothing special. We'll be back there, too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: The Cookbook Addict

      Big fan -- not only because there's a ramen joint in Downtown Brooklyn, but also because it's one of the best ramen joints in town. Not as good as Totto or Ippudo, but not that far off in my opinion. Good noodles (and different based on the broth you order) and broths with a real depth of flavor. For better or worse, very child friendly, too, as the owner has a 2 year old. (This is a plus in my current situation, plus our 15 month old son loved the short rib ramen.) Game changer in Downtown and a welcome addition to the nabe.

        1. re: parkslopemama

          They are open for lunch! Went this past week. Not bad at all.

          1. re: ChiefHDB

            Doing bento lunch now as well -- pork tonkatsu, beef curry, chicken teriyaki, and shio saba. (Just posted on their Facebook page.)

            1. re: lambretta76

              Just had the beef curry -- it's delicious. Not that I don't like "fast-food" curry like GoGo Curry or even Torokeru / Vermont packets, but this was just a league of its own. (I should note I've never had Japanese curry in a nice place either here or Japan, so my experience is limited.) Very "meaty", likely housemade sauce, and the beef was beautifully cooked. (I'd imagine it was short ribs, but not 100% sure.) Not a massive portion for $12, but filling and high quality. Wish they'd maybe do a bento box for $1 or $2 more (some pickles, a dumpling or two) but very pleased.

    2. Went for lunch today. Gyoza was fantastic. Some of the best I've had. Miso Ramen was ok. Noodles were good but I thought the overall flavor was a bit weak. Lots of other interesting things on the menu. Service has some kinks to work out. You can tell they have not been open very long. I think things will get better as they smooth out the operation. The flow from the kitchen is a bit erratic. But it's a nice addition to the downtown Brooklyn dining scene. Will be back for sure. Just wish they can get the broth up to Totto Ramen standard.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bkeats

        Also at lunch. Enjoyed four appetizers; fried chicken was superbly done, wings were only ok, Gyoza delicate and not greasy (as others have indicated) and pork buns terrific (delicately fried, good bun, nice balance in the sauce) We found the spicy miso deeply flavorful and porky rich The ganso ramen had less complex flavor but still good Agree with the comments that while not yet at the level of the finest (totto my favorite), it is a wonderful addition to the Brooklyn scene. Would go here anytime - great stuff overall. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if they keep getting better over time - it just has that feel.

      2. Ganso
        I need this place to succeed (I love ramen). Have Salat's cookbook, wife and I were excited to try. Overall, ok. Really hope they can tweak it up. Japanese fried chicken was great. Gyoza ok, maybe a bit too meaty and so not guite cooked and hot. Spicy miso ramen: noodles nice and toothsome, broth kind of not so tasty. Still rec people go and try. I plan to go and try more of the dishes.

        While I'm here, allow me to recommend my new "find" in Brooklyn:

        The Pines.
        Its in Gowanus, not too far from Barclays Center & Park Slope.
        Great restaurant! Plan to go back plenty.
        Delicious food, great value, nice servers, plenty of atmosphere that works. Menu is interesting, highlights unusual items that turn out great (cherry husk? delish). Pretty plating is an unexpected bonus (looks kind of like the style of plating at Corton). Backyard space looks nice too (cold & rainy when I went). Neighborhood feels totally remote but is actually only an avenue away from Park Slope.

        We had jicama and the headcheese (delish) to start. Had geoduck, pork shoulder (could not be cooked more perfectly, slow roast 24 hours or something), and the apple dish. All great, interesting, makes you wonder what they did it or how they did it.

        We spent $50 pp before tax & tip; cannot beat that; in NYC $80 pp for crap is normal. If you are seeking a good meal somewhere in Brooklyn, this is a top contender. I guess the chef was the chef at Masten Lake, which I understand people liked and I meant to go but never did. There were complaints about service at Masten Lake (and at Littleneck, whose owners opened The Pines), but service was very nice & good when we went.

        Wife likens it to Isa when it first opened. I think the food is much better here.
        Perfect place for a date. Worth a trip from Manhattan.