Gyoza Bar is located in the heart of Covent Garden and is about a 1 minute walk from Leicester Square tube station. The restaurant has been brought to us by the same team behind Murukami which is their sushi restaurant located next door.
The restaurant feels casual and has a modern design of the use of wood. Where it is located it could make this a suitable place for a quick bite if you heading to any of the theatres around the area.
As named Gyoza Bar, you would had expect to see a large selection of gyoza. But when I first glanced at the menu the ramen selection was actually larger than the gyoza. To me this was really a ramen bar.
There are five different gyoza to select on the menu. Each one you can choose to have them deep-fried, pan-fried or steamed. We tried the Ebi Dangojiru (£9.50) which is a prawn gyoza that is served in a soy based broth. The pastry was thin which is what you would expect from a Japanese gyoza, but I thought the dish lacked flavour.
Pork Gyoza yakimono (£7.50) is pan-fried gyoza served with two different dipping – garlic vinegar and umami soy.
As well as the Japanese style gyoza under the small plates you will find the Samosa wrap (£8.50) which is another dumpling dish. This is deep-fried pork dumplings which you wrapped in lettuce with avocado, tomato salsa and spicy mayo. I thought this was refreshing approach to eating dumpling and I felt it worked.
We tried the bao on the menu which are all served with lenkon chips (lotus root). These are like the Taiwanese/Japanese bao which has been popular in London these days.
Chicken katsu bun was breaded chicken in bun served with lettuce and tonkatsu bun. I found this breaded chicken dry and could not remember tasting any sauce. The char siu bun is char siu pork in bun served with lettuce and pickled jalapeno. Both steamed bun texture was not soft enough compared to London’s specialised bao shops. The only thing I liked about both the bun dish was the lenkon chips.
The ramen noodle soup can not match place like Kanada-Ya, Ippudo or Muga. At Gyoza Bar all noodle soup comes in a choice of soy or miso broth. The miso broth was disappointing as the miso was not mixed in properly. So when I tasted the broth on the right side it tasted like bamboo or cane water. It was not until I got to the right side of the bowl that this was where I found the miso flavour.
We completed the meal with the Apple cinnamon dumpling with vanilla ice-cream (£4.50). It was a good concept but I found the filling was dry. It does not compare with a McDonald’s apple pie. Yes, how could I compare with McDonald but its true.
In my view that if this is a gyoza bar then there needs to be a larger variety of gyoza or dumplings dishes. There are some good dumpling ideas on the menu and I feel that it should be the focus point. But the ramen section takes most of the menu and this seems to take the main focus.
If you want a traditional Japanese ramen then this is not the place, and I would suggest heading to Muga ramen, Kanada-Ya, Ippudo or even Shoryu. However, if you want gyoza then this could be a place to consider.
(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)
63-66 St Martins Lane,