If people can marry the Eiffel Tower, and Donald Trump can run for president, then I can ask a plate of Gyoza to prom night. Right? One of my favourite Eastern dishes in the whole wide hungry world, I was invited down to try the newly opened Gyoza Bar on St Martin's Lane.
Wedged into the restaurants and eateries of St Martin's Lane, and pretty much sitting on the lap of next door's Murakami thanks to a connective route to the bathroom, Gyoza is intimate and cutesy with raw, industrial charm. Half contemporary and cool, and half echoing nods to Eastern culture thanks to fresh lines and bamboo charm, the selection of tables are small and the route through could be considered elbow locking, but the hubbub accounts for this at Gyoza, and it's in no way a pitfall for the bustling restaurant. The only pitfall? Their intimate kitchen allows no space for a standalone bar, meaning that while we got to enjoy watching the gyoza created first hand, the waiting staff were accountable for all of their own drinks orders.
The Food & Drink
Drinks wise, the menu is intimate, but that almost serves the restaurant well thanks to its hearty gyoza selection. Bombardment is not the true wealth of eating out. Kicking off with their own hops, their home-brewed beer (the Gyoza Caps Pilsener) has to be one of the most approachable bevvies i've had in London yet. My palate is normally hassled by bitter flavours and overt doses, but their own beer settled things with a fresh, almost fruity blend that didn't sit too heavy before 5 portions of gyoza and bao buns.
Plump, lightly fried and the easiest Eastern dish to hassle with chopsticks, Gyoza Bar's gyoza collection is select and approachable, boasting big, regonisable flavours. Opting for the vegetarian with avocado and yuzu salsa (£6.50), the ebi dangojiru (£9.50), the pork and the chicken with umami soy, we genuinely chanced across some of the best gyoza i've ever been lucky enough to try in London. Delicately placed on plates, and selectively set alongside the correct soy sauces for each plate, these bites were rich, succulent, coming in at five pieces strong per dish and packed with flavour. While slightly disappointed in their bao buns as we opted for the slightly lackluster chicken katsu and tempura prawn (£5.75), I think the emphasis is clear on ramen and gyoza, so it's no harm, no foul, just needing extra seasoning.
Tidying up with their Don't Be Sake cocktail at £7.50, the drink had a thwack to the nose thanks to brown sugar, but almost immediately died down thanks to the restoring plum sake. The bartender told me that I like to drink, and cocktails like these are the reason why.
With their simple offering practically planted in the venue's name, it's no wonder that this venue was so busy. If I walked past a restaurant called 'affordable burgers and good wine', or 'pizza and yes', i'd likely be inclined to head on down too. Not only has the online hype served this restaurant well, but the fact that they can afford to leave guests waiting at the door for 15 minutes in the hope if snagging a table says a lot, and it's deservedly reflected in the restaurant's welcoming bumble. #
I really, really enjoyed Gyoza Bar. Normally I avoid heading to Central London with absolute determination, it's a bustle I'd like to avoid, but thanks to their plucky service, incredible gyoza dishes and notably inviting own-brewed beer, I may sneak my way through the back streets for another gyoza dose. Dear Gyoza, never be anything else but you.