Gyoza; Noun. A Japanese dish consisting of stuffed wanton wrappers. Whatever the authentic definition of Gyoza may truly be, there's one thing that we all know to be true, or at least you should know by now: it's incredible. Lightly fried, pert, puffed and packed with flavour, I learnt this year that gyoza is my favourite dish of all time ever in the history of the earth and stars combined...... so now i'm here to share some of the best places in London to find the stuff.
Having ploughed through a few of their parcels myself, I can not only vouch for the gyoza at Gyoza, I can also just keep saying Gyoza, gyoza. Not only is their menu almost strictly tailored to the Japanese dish alone, this intimate plot in the heart of Central London is churning out morsels on cast iron skillets the likes of their ebi dangojiru, a vegetable gyoza (£6.50), pork gyoza yakimono with umami soy (£7.50).
With street food hot on the tails of most restaurants in London, there's another name that keeps coming a cropper on the city's Japanese dining scene. While recently on the look for a new name to take over the brand, Sabita and her partner in delicious crime have still been noted on nearly every gyoza list on the internet thanks to their charitable stance, cutesy van and variety of gyoza the likes of pork, chicken, prawn and oyster mushroom.
While gyoza is sometimes a dish that's built lovingly rough and ready around the edges, like a party, a little upmarket dining never killed nobody. Boasting high end Japanese fare on New King's Road, Koji gives diners the opportunity to brush down and scrub up for stunning gyoza the likes of their soft shell crab with jalapeno aioli, pork and ginger (£8.5), wild pink prawn and garlic (£9.50). As you can see, Koji somewhat like bending the gyoza rules.
Welcoming diners to Whitechapel, Sushinoen boasts almost five stars across the board, and that's not because of their cutesy geometric branding, fresh interiors and artsy dining stance. They're also at the forefront of some of the best gyoza in London. Their selection may be one of the most intimate in London, but what they miss in lack of options, they make up for in dramatic and welcoming flavours: pan-fried vegetable dumplings (£4.50).
Handmade on a daily basis, and propositioning guests with humble flavours that echo their humble brand, Tonkotsu have not only made a name for themselves when it comes to ramen in London, their gyoza is pretty darn hardy too. Flit between pork, prawn or shiitake and bamboo shoot, all for just £5.95 a plate.