A pair of gyoza bars this time round. One in Fortitude Valley, the other in Bulimba. Gyoza are Japanese dumplings gently steamed then fried on one side so they have a nicely caramelised base. Sometimes that can be overcooked and chewy and other times they can be a little flaccid. Six gyoza is never going to be enough for me, even with a salad box. I love the little buggers and could quite cheerfully eat a dozen to start with and see how many more I could fit in. I never do though as I find gyoza not particularly good value and never filling enough. Let’s see how I go on this lunch sized adventure.
Gyoza Bar Ann
Last year a new gyoza bar opened up in the space left behind by the much mourned, Coaldrake’s books and coffee in Emporium. Although only a hop, step and a jump away from me, I had never visited as it was almost always too busy for a lunch time adventure. With many slackers still on holiday prior to Australia Day, I finally got a chance to visit with a couple of people from work. There’s a lunch box menu where you select from gyoza or other typical item such as chicken karage accompanied by rice and a salad.
The speciality of the house being gyoza, I selected the pork version for my lunch box. The meal arrived quickly and I was happy to see that the gyoza were served on their own little cast iron tray. A splash of the traditional gyoza sauce over the sizzling dumplings generated a small cloud of steam. A cute touch and ensured the gyoza stayed warm and juicy through the meal, though hardly an issue in January. Gyoza are made on premises, which puts it head and shoulders above most restaurants who simply bulk buy large bags of frozen dumplings. The flavours and the texture of the dumplings were fresh and light with no stodginess. On this occasion $12 for 6 gyoza, salad and rice was a fair value lunch.
Gyoza Bar Ann St
Shop 26 Emporium
1000 Ann St
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006
Visited: January 2014 – Lunch Service
Yum Yum Gyoza House
On my last day of holidays, we found ourselves in Bulimba at lunch time. I used to be frequent visitor to the area but quite frankly, the lack of parking and increasing number of franchise restaurants means that it has all but lost its charm, so we head elsewhere on our days off. There are an enormous amount of cafes and restaurants in and around the Balmoral Cinema and Bulimba pub but very few where you can be in and out quick smart. Yum Yum Gyoza’s enticing smells wafting out onto the footpath sealed the deal about where to eat.
You can sit on the street or overlooking the narrow kitchen and select from a point and choose style menu. We opted for a set of gyoza, some vege spring rolls and a stir fry of Chicken Shagoyaki with rice. Gyoza are 4 for $5 and whilst I can’t be certain they were made on premises, they were steamed and then flash fried right in front of us before being delivered over the bar to us. The dumplings were well cooks but lacked a distinct pork flavour and I’m fairly certain that there was cabbage in there which is a bit of padding out trick in Chinese dumplings. The spring rolls were nothing to write home about but were only $3 for the pair so not much to complain about either.
The Chicken Shagoyaki was delivered straight from the wok, with a mound of rice and some pickled gourd for garnish. It was really surprising how much chicken there was in the dish which was tossed in a delicious tangy ginger sauce. I really can’t be certain this was an ‘authentic’ Japanese dish or more of a Chinese/Japanese hybrid. I found the dish a little salty but Anthony had no such complaints and I still managed to eat my share. Great value at only $10 and more than enough for us to split, with the accompanying dumplings.
Yum Yum Gyoza House
147 Oxford St
Bulimba Qld 4171
Visited: March 2014 – Lunch Service