Normally, we associate Izakayas with late night bites to go with the beverage of choice (and we're not talking about Diet Coke either). But what about lunch? Well, with Whipping Girl joining me for lunch, we decided to check out Gyoza King. And for once, we would have pictures of the food brightened by natural light. It ain't easy doing that normally at night at an Izakaya! Unlike their dinner menu, Gyoza King has a very simple array of food for lunch consisting of a few choices of ramen and don. Guess what we ordered?
We were started off each with a Green Salad. Not a whole lot to say other than the greens were crisp and vibrant while there was just enough dressing. It had a good balance of acidity and sweetness. Being the most expensive and impressive item on the lunch menu, we opted for the 20th Anniversary Grand Ramen consisting of roasted pork belly, half-boiled marinated egg, nori, wakame, bamboo shoots, seasoned bean sprouts, garlic chips and roasted onion. For the soup base, we chose the shoyu broth and it was typically salty. I wouldn't say it was any more or less salty than most of the other similar broths we've tried. However, I thought the soup was a bit lacking in any other distinguishing flavours. As for the pork, it didn't look like pork belly to me, but whatever because it was fatty and really moist. It was quite salty though and when combined with the broth, it was quite potent. The noodles were nicely al dente and well-portioned. Loved the egg too!
Of course we couldn't only share a ramen, so we also tried the Seafood Yuuke Don with chopped tuna, salmon, scallop and octopus sashimi tossed in yuuke sauce on rice. When mixed together, this concoction was naturally sweet and benefited from a touch of spice. The little octopus bits added texture and another shot of sweetness. I liked the rice, but it was a bit on the drier side. And we didn't stop there (to our server's amazement), as we added the Chicken Karaage Don with goma miso sauce. The big juicy chunks of chicken were crispy and easy on the grease. The skin was nicely rendered where it was no longer fatty. However, the chicken itself was quite salty which somewhat tempered the aromatic sesame flavour of the sauce (which was also salty due to the miso). But the wedge of lemon helped things considerably.
Of course we couldn't get out of the place without an order of their Super Bite Pork Gyoza (duh, it is the name of the place). Fortunately for us, both orders of don came with a side of gyoza. These mini dumplings were attractively browned on the bottom while sporting a really thin skin. The filling was moist and balanced while the dip took star billing as it was vinegary and sweet with a touch of spice. Overall, it was a pleasant lunch at Gyoza King. However, we still prefer their late night offerings instead. I guess we'll need to come back.
- Decent lunch offerings
- Combos including miso and gyoza are a good value
- Attentive service
- Limited menu
- A bit salty