None of us had been to Gan Shan Station, but we’d all been wanting to go. We got our chance a couple of weeks ago.
The good news:
- Gan Shan is a visually striking space that still let’s it’s inner gas station show in a cool, re-purposed way.
- Service is attentive and friendly.
- There’s a nice outdoor seating area.
- Plenty of parking in their lot.
If you like watching open-kitchen prep, watch the work happening in the front “bay” that opens onto the dining area.
The other news: Three of the four dishes we ordered were pretty heavy on the salt. The fourth was a very tasty special, described as a kind of vegetable pancake topped with bacon and an egg. I believe they also serve this at Brunch? Order it if you can!
There were eleven (11) items and three sides on the lunch menu. After a very good Ginger-Lime soda ($3.75), I ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Salad ($10) made with rice vermicelli, charred radicchio, fish sauce, cabbage, and pecans. It was okay, but after eating about two thirds, I waived the white flag.
Sis ordered Shui Jiao ($10). Choice of five meat or vegetable dumplings that were good enough that I’d order them next time.
Our fourth had the Mapo Doufu ($12). If you like it hot, order this very spicy dish made with tofu, ground pork, chili oil, broad beans, and tree ear mushrooms. A vegetarian version is also available.
There’s another restaurant in Asheville that uses a heavy hand when it comes to salt. A discussion among locals about the salt issue centered on Chefs that smoke enough to dull taste buds. I don’t know if either of the lead Gan Shan Chefs smoke, but someone with a fresh palate might be a good sounding board during recipe development?
All that being said, I’d go back and give it another try. And you should go, too, and decide for yourself. They’re a great addition to the neighborhood and we want them to be around for a good long time.
Gan Shan Station
143 Charlotte St
Asheville, NC 28801