So many Japanese dumplings, so little time
If there’s ever been a cuter dumpling sign to grace on Bayswater Road, we’d like to see it. This Kings Cross newbie is cheap, tasty fun where the emphasis is on friendly service and a lot of shouting. They shout when you enter the room. They shout when you order sake. If you sit at the bar, you can watch as they shout at each other.
This izakaya specialising in gyoza (Japanese dumplings, either pan-fried or steamed) started in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. The lines on Brunswick Street are still epic. And now they’ve opened in Sydney, we can’t imagine this place staying quiet long.
It’s the fun factor that really makes Harajuku Gyoza. The melamine plates depicting a giant gyoza Godzilla eating a city, and scenes from Tokyo and Japanese Elvis; the cute giant light-up dumpling head; the bright red stools; the waitstaff all wearing Japanese cotton headscarves. There’s even a merchandise case where you can buy most anything in the restaurant short of the giant dumpling steamers.
The dumplings may not boast the finest gossamer-thin skins ever, but they’re still hella tasty at $8 a five piece serve and brilliant if you’re on the austerity drive. Get 'em poached or grilled or try 'em both ways. There’s something to be said for the pillow-like softness of poached dumplings, like little creatures escaped from the sea. And they have golden crisp bits if you go for some grill action. We like the duck and the pork versions, but the veggie guys are actually meaty enough you could be fooled. And if you’re still jonesing for more, there are salt-caramel gyoza with ice cream for dessert.
Tapped out on a dumpling high? There are also a bunch of izakaya dishes – things to snack on while you’re drinking a sake or one of the five Japanese beers they have on offer (Kirin is their tap pour) like karaage chicken, agedashi tofu and deep-fried eggplant.
Harajuku is good, quick, super-kawaii fun. If you’re not charmed within a minute of entering, you're dead inside.
|Venue name:||Harajuku Gyoza|
9-15 Bayswater Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily noon-late|