147 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9650 5225
Fatbee and I caught up with Lorena and Jerri just before we departed for Bhutan. The venue of choice was this Gyoza Bar that I’d never heard of before.
Oriental Twist (600ml) $18.90
And I’ll have to say I’m glad they picked this place. The interior was simple and charming and we found ourselves in a little enclosed ‘booth’ to dine in. The extensive menu’s pretty cute in that all the dishes are priced at $6.50 each and it comes as small shareable portions, bringing to mind the word “Japas” – Japanese Tapas… ha ha!
Tilapia Sashimi with Ponzu sauce
We whetted our appetites with a platter of tilapia sashimi… my first time eating tilapia, if I may add. The flesh had a stringy texture and it could’ve been a bit fresher.
Kaisen Harumaki | Fried Chicken Gizzards
The kaisen harumaki was like a spring roll made with a noodle-like pastry and filled with seafood. It had a good crunch. We also had a delightful serve of freshly deep fried chicken gizzards, it was both crispy with a nice resilient bounciness to the gizzard flesh.
Soft Shell Crab Burger (2pcs)
Next up was the dish of the night for me… crispy pieces of soft shell crab sandwiched between soft and fluffy milk buns. You have to order this if you visit.
Our next dish was thin slices of pan seared tuna that, interestingly, tasted almost like beef sashimi. It was quite good, although I’d have preferred if the sweet miso dressing was served on the side so as not to overwhelm the flavour of the tuna.
Seeing that we’re dining in a gyoza bar, it’s no surprise that an entire tray of gyoza sauces and condiments arrived. Loved the ‘ninja bear’ jar that held the soya sauce! The condiments included sesame oil, sesame seeds, chopped garlic, chilli oil and white vinegar.
Pork & Garlic Gyoza (6pcs) | Ebi, Buta & Yasai Soup Gyoza (prawn, pork, veg)
We sampled two types of gyoza, one was pan fried and the other was served in a soup. Both were pretty enjoyable, but I was particularly smitten by the delicious broth (we picked shoyu) that came with the soup gyoza.
Tori no Karaage | Salmon Yukki
These two dishes were less exciting for me, with a bit too much batter and salt in the (rather dry) chicken karaage. The salmon yukki was an odd little salad of diced salmon with avocado, cucumber and deep fried wonton skins.
Gyu Tan no Shio Yaki | Wafu Steak
As for the beef offerings, both were served on hot plates and I absolutely loved the gyu tan (ox tongue) because it came succulent and delicately seasoned. The wafu steak was pretty alright although I secretly wished it was a fattier cut of meat.
Aside for the gyoza skins, there was a distinct lack of carbs right through this meal. So we made up for it with this final serve of vegetable and potato croquettes.
Traditional Mochi Parfait
Homemade green tea mochi, red bean, strawberry, roasted honey cornflakes & soy milk green tea soft serve
For dessert, we shared two serves of mochi parfait (my first time having this dessert). I found myself loving the textural contrast between crunchy pieces of cornflakes and the other components in the parfait. I also really enjoyed the soy green tea soft serve, but have to confess that the firm / rubbery texture of the cold mochi itself took a bit of getting used to.
I enjoyed my meal here… I wouldn’t call the food spectacular but I loved the variety on offer. I also liked how the dishes came in small shareable portions at a friendly set price tag of $6.50 each. This meal cost us $33 pax including alcohol and dessert, and we left satisfied.