The Gyoza Bar Review
Gyoza are one of my favourite things to eat, so when I heard that a new gyoza bar was opening in Covent Garden, I got rather excited to say the least.
Well, obviously gyoza! Dumplings are served deep fried, pan fried or steamed and include fillings such as salmon with yuzu coconut chilli oil (try this!) or pan fried chicken with garlic vinegar and unami soy.
It’s not just gyoza on the menu however; ramen is also a big feature – but in all honesty, if you are after some ramen, I’d recommend going to a speciality ramen bar, as the taste is all in the broth, and the ramen served at the Gyoza bar was not very intense or deeply flavoured. The broth is the main ‘body’ of the dish and should be made over days, this seemed to be done quite quickly as it was lacking in any real flavour.
The menu also hosts a selection of small plates, with some excellent bao buns – try the chicken katsu bun which is served with lettuce and tonkatsu sauce. (I liked these as sometimes the bao buns have a tendency to still to my teeth and these didn’t!)
WHY? (Should you go?)
In all honesty, I was expecting to be raving about this place and urging you to stop what you’re doing and go get some gyoza. But, the reality is, if you don’t visit here, you really won’t be missing out.
There are plenty of other Japanese restaurants that serve MUCH better ramen (give Bone Daddies a try for some real, tasty broth)
In terms of service, I think there is a lot more work that needs to be done! Our server, although polite, did not know much about the menu (surely that’s his job to be informed?!) and had to keep checking for us even when we asked simple questions. We also felt slightly silly when asking for a fork by his remark ‘oh, don’t you know how to use chopsticks?!’ ( we were sharing ramen and it’s quite hard to split noodles with chopsticks!)
We had booked a table for two at 6pm and when we arrived the restaurant was empty except for one other couple. We were shown to probably the worst table in the restaurant. My friend was sat opposite a huge concrete pillar and I was sat next to him. As the restaurant was empty, we asked if we could sit elsewhere but apparently the restaurant was fully booked. We asked again and the waiter had to check, because every other seat was reserved – not too sure why our reservation was classed less than the others but hey ho! We finally managed to move to a brighter spot, but were told we’d have to be out by 7.30. Food came out incredibly quickly and we almost felt rushed so were out within an hour!
The Gyoza Bar
66 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4JS
(No website or Twitter Handle just yet)