We recently visited Gyoza Bar - a Japanese food bar based near Leicester Square station, newly opened next door to another Japanese restaurant, Murakami, but it’s easy to get the two confused as they practically share an entrance.
Gyoza is the word for Japanese pan fried dumplings and this is exactly what they serve – a vast selection of mini pan friend dumplings. The menu also offers one of our favourites, the ramen of course as well some bao steamed buns… yum!
While Murakami offers more of a sit down an evening of food and drinks atmosphere, Gyoza is a place you would go for a quick bite – they’re not currently taking bookings so you can pop in straight after a long day at work and get a hot bowl of ramen, great for a frosty winters night to warm you up.
During our visit we wanted to try a bit of everything so we opted for the Gyoza Moriawase. This was a tasty selection which sampled all of their gyoza dumplings including: chicken, vegetable, pork and salmon, served in a piping hot pan with a selection of dipping sauces which complemented the flavours perfectly.
Of course we enjoyed these bite sized deliciousness pan fried but they also give you the option to have them deep friend, which I am assuming will make them more crispy, or you can have them steamed which will leave the rice sheet around the filling light and soft.
The bao steamed buns were a must – we tried the chicken and the pulled pork bun which was absolutely amazing. This was probably my favourite from the whole menu – if there is one thing you should try, it’s the pulled pork bao bun. It was full of flavour and we did not want it to end. To accompany the delicious bun we also ordered a side of the crispy Japanese chips.
Finally, we could not leave without trying the ramen so we decided to order one to share. There was no way we would have been able to eat one each as they’re served in a deep bowl with lots of broth. We followed the staffs recommendation and ordered the pork belly ramen, which is supposed to be served with shoyu tamago, spring onion, broccoli stem, beansprout and a Japenese fish cake.
The ramen was tasty but not exactly what we were expecting. I think they must have forgotten to add the Japanese fish cake but we’d already had so much food by this time, we were happy to go without it. Although the broth was tasty, it wasn’t as rich as I had hoped, I prefer a creamy broth with my ramen but the pork belly was great and it melted in your mouth.
To end the feast we had the crispy fried ice cream to share. It was wonderful. The hot crispy shell on the outside was balanced out by the cold creamy ice cream on the inside and if I hadn’t eaten three courses prior to the dessert, there would have been no sharing. This is one dish I would return for time and time again. In fact, I’d say it would be great to pop in for a nightcap and an ice cream… yum!
By Vesi Maslenishka