#64 of 17 Asheville Restaurants

Gan Shan West in Asheville

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Gan Shan West in Asheville - Asian Small Plates and Ramen
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Slurp on Asian comfort food from the latest outpost in the Gan Shan Group, which offers pan-Asian fare created from locally sourced food. Gan Shan West focuses on noodle dishes and dumplings in a fast casual setting. Locals and tourists go wild for the flavorful, healthy food, hence the 4.5 star rating.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Gan Shan West, which opened in 2017, is the latest restaurant from the Gan Shan Group. Operated by owner Patrick O’Cain, Gan Shan West focuses on Asian small plates and noodle dishes. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner six days a week.

Everything is made fresh using locally sourced ingredients, whenever possible. Dumping wrappers for gyoza and bao are handmade in-house. Menu items combine noodle-centric favorites from Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, and China.

Chef-owner Patrick O’Cain is an Asheville native who grew up eating and cooking Chinese food with his family. After getting a culinary education and honing his skills in Charleston, he returned to his Asheville roots. O’Cain wanted to open a neighborhood restaurant that would foster community and connection in the North Asheville neighborhood, while paying homage to the cooking he loved as a kid. The result is Gan Shan West, the informal offering from Gan Shan Group.

Gan Shan West maintains a fast casual atmosphere. You’ll enter the restaurant, view the menu and specials, and order from the counter. Once you’ve ordered, you can grab a seat and wait for your food.

The menu at Gan Shan West uses local and seasonal ingredients to prepare a variety of dishes. While some of the menu items are spicy, you don’t need to be a spice lover to eat here. None of the food contains MSG.

The fresh ramen is made with alkaline noodles, which impart a golden hue to the noodles and give them their springy texture. To-go orders of ramen are made with rice noodles unless you specifically request the alkaline noodles.

While the menu changes with the seasons, a few of our favorites include these offerings:

  • Ramen – The ramen is a not-to-be-missed affair. Vegetarian ramen includes marinated tofu, pickled bamboo and mushrooms, while meat eaters can savor the 24-hour pork and chicken broth with smoked pulled pork, toasted seaweed, egg, and scallion.
  • Gyoza – Handmade fried gyoza come in pork and seasonal flavors; either is a big hit.
  • Japanese fries – With a sauce of mayo, soy, scallion, togarashi, and furikake, the Japanese fries are an addictive appetizer.
  • Brisket congee – A hearty winter favorite is this thick rice porridge, which comes with tender brisket, kimchi, fried shallots, and egg.
  • Rice bowl – Pick your preferred protein for the sweet soy, chili oil, and peanut rice bowl. Choose from egg, tofu, shrimp, brisket, black bean chicken, or pork.

Gan Shan West offers a thoughtfully curated selected of cold sake, wine, beer, soda, and tea to accompany the food.

Insider Tips:

  • Gan Shan West happily accommodates vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free eaters.
  • Gan Shan West doesn’t take reservations and is closed on Sunday.
  • Gan Shan West is small and can be noisy. If you’re looking for a quiet table, head to Gan Shan Station instead.