Yes, I’m back! I’ve been on hiatus for a bit while I travelled to Los Angelas and well, was hit with Christmas and New Years…
Mr Ana found yet another place to try in Brisbane – Harajuku Gyoza. Sounds a bit trendy, no? Harajuku Gyoza claim that ‘this is a story of an obession, an insatiable love for gyoza dumplings and beer’. No need to tell me anything further, Mr Ana and I love both.
We headed there at 12pm on a Saturday in the attempt to miss the lines and were lucky to get a table straight away. The restaurant was set up in a traditional Japanese Gyoza resto style, with the gyoza cooking station set up right in the middle, bar around the cooking station, and booths and tables around the sides. We got a booth and I proceeded to freeze my bum off from the air conditioning.
We had a look at the menu and found that the selection of food was limited. Very limited. The gyoza selection was a combination of grilled or poached gyoza, the izakaya menu wasn’t really a proper izayaka menu, and they didn’t offer hot tea. Hmmm… The Kirin beer was on tap, however, which was refreshing and appreciated.
I started off with my standard entree – agi dashi tofu. The tofu had a pleasant chewy coat… But the accompanying dashi was ok only. Nothing to get excited over.
We stuck to the traditional gyoza, and started with grilled pork and grilled chicken gyoza (a dish of 5 gyoza was $5). They came out fairly quickly. While presentation wasn’t their big point (as opposed to their funky stylised restaurant), the gyoza was fairly juicy and light in flavour. I would have preferred the chicken dumplings to be a bit more cooked, however chicken tends to be more juicy than pork. We also tried their grilled duck gyoza, and frankly, they weren’t very nice.
On the downside, we got a batch of dumplings that weren’t cooked properly. Noooo!!!
Mr Ana asked me if I preferred our home made pork dumplings or these pork gyoza. I took ages to think about it, which tells me that these gyoza were not special enough for me to return.
The gyoza is quite expensive for what they are. I have been to a gyoza izakaya in Tokyo and was charged 280¥ for 5 rediculously tasty pork and chive dumplings (and I’m talking Omotosando Hills, not the back streets of say, Kabukicho). There is a fair bit of hype with this restaurant, however until the menu is extended and the service and cooking is improved, I don’t think I will return.