Sherman's Food Adventures: Gyoza Bar (New Summer Menu Items)

Gyoza Bar (New Summer Menu Items)

It is no secret that when Gyoza Bar first opened, reviews were mixed.  In fact, we went with a large group back then and there was a wide range of opinions.  I did a revisit a year ago and was pleasantly surprised with the changes to the menu.  Things were more refined and in my opinion, tastier.  That prompted me to return many more times in the past year.  Recently, I paid Gyoza Bar a visit to try some of their Summer menu items which included a combination of tried and true dishes mixed in with a few new ones.

We were started off with a pair of frozen cocktails including the Grilled Peach & Orange Blossom with pinot gris and rum as well as the Strawberry Yuzu & Pistachio with rose and gin.  Of the two, I preferred the strawberry yuzu partly due to the visuals as it was a beautiful red.  It was also nicely blended and not overly sweet while sporting an aromaticness.  There was also the light hit of gin which went well with the flavours.  The peach & orange blossom was subtle, yet more strong in terms of alcohol.  It was slightly floral with the sweetness of peach at the end.

Onto our first course, we had the refreshing Japanese Tomato Salad with shiso vinaigrette, bonito flakes, cucumber, cilantro and green onion.  This featured ripe chunks of visually-appealing tomatoes which were juicy and sweet.  The cukes were also fresh, bright and crunchy.  I found the vinaigrette balanced in terms of acidity and sweetness while the shiso added a herbal brightness.  I appreciated that the cilantro was in the background as it can often be overwhelming.  Next up was a Gyoza Bar classic in the Japanese Curry Poutine with pulled pork, cheddar cheese, cilantro and pickled jalapeno.  I've had this before and this was no different with crispy fries topped with a generous amount of topping.  The pork was tender and well-seasoned with sweet and mildly spicy curry while the melted cheese kept things together.  Once again, the cilantro was complimentary while the jalapeno added a spicy tang.

Of course, it would've be a tasting at Gyoza Bar without gyozas right?  So we ended up with the Chicken Sui Gyoza with broccolini and a sweet & sour scallion sauce.  Unlike their wonderfully addictive pan-fried gyozas, these were steamed.  Hence, they were healthier, but also in the fact that the filling was soft chicken and veggies.  I would've liked a meatier texture, but it didn't make or break the dish.  The dumpling skin was medium thickness while being tender with an elasticity.  Tangy with a bit of sharpness from the onions, the sauce was impactful in a complimentary fashion to the mild chicken.  Arriving sizzling hot, the Teppan Bistro Fillet Steak was on point.  Prepared medium to medium-rare, the meat was succulent and super tender.  Underneath, we found garlic rice, corn, shiitake mushrooms, sesame and sweet soy reduction.  On top, there was a sprinkle of green onions and a sous-vide egg.  The whole concoction was tasty with umaminess from the ingredients as well as the caramelization from the sizzling teppan.

Due to the hot weather of late, it was nice to be served a Cold Katsuo Umami Ramen with a soy-based bonito broth, chicken char siu, tamago, red cabbage and katsuo bushi.  This was also on point with firmly chewy noodles bathed in a broth that was light, yet at the same time flavourful from the bonito.  This was doubled up in the broth as well as the flakes with touch of sesame oil.  The egg was perfectly runny while the sous-vide chicken was super soft while still retaining a meaty texture.  For dessert, we had the Golden Bao Fritter with yuzu marmalade, condensed milk and ice cream.  These were crunchy while still soft in the middle.  Loved the yuzu marmalade as it added another layer of tang and sweetness to the normally syrupy sweet condensed milk.  Of the new items I tried, my favourites were the cold ramen and the teppan steak, you can't go wrong with either.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Proteins were spot on
- Cold ramen was served ice cold (which worked)

The Bad:
- Chicken in the steamed gyoza could've been meatier


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