I am a complete newbie to Japanese food. I’ve never actually been to a restaurant serving purely Japanese cuisine – until I visited Gyoza Bar.
Gyoza Bar is nestled within the bustling Leicester Square area of London. It is literally a one minute walk from Leicester Square station and a couple of minutes from Covent Garden station.
I visited on a weekday afternoon and was surrounded by a lively, vibrant and informal atmosphere. The restaurant is somewhat dimly lit with a rustic, authentic interior and a cosy layout. The benches which decorate Gyoza Bar pay tribute to the Japanese culture – adding to the authenticity of the dining experience.
I was also a fan of the classic r’n’b music playing pleasantly in the background while I ate.
(The interior of Gyoza Bar)
All food served at Gyoza Bar is made with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. The talented chefs only use traditional Japanese recipes and equipment to serve up a range of Japanese delights.
The menu is best enjoyed in a tapas style with diners recommended to pick and choose from each section of the menu (which is what I did).
To start, I enjoyed a ramen bowl with prawn and vegetable tempura pieces. Ramen is a Japanese type of noodle soup which is a warm, wholesome dish. The broth was very tasty but for spicy food lovers like me, there are additional condiments on the tables to adapt your order to your taste. The ramen also came with broccoli, spring onion, bean sprouts and a boiled egg garnish.
I also loved both the prawn and the vegetable tempura pieces which were soft and succulent, while the batter, light and crispy.
For mains, I chose a chicken katsu burger with a side of crispy Japanese sweet potato fries. I was intrigued by the katsu burger as it is a unique menu choice. The dough of the burger bun was surprisingly soft while still firm enough to hold the fried katsu fillet. The katsu itself was complimented by the tangy, flavoursome relish which accompanies it.
The sweet potato fries had a slightly crunchy texture from being shallow fried and sprinkled with sea salt. They are served with a spicy mayo which goes perfectly with the fries creating an explosion of flavour in your mouth.
Lastly, for dessert, I opted for the crispy fried ice-cream with maple syrup – my favourite dish from Gyoza Bar (dessert usually is). This was my first time trying fried ice-cream, and it wont be the last, it literally melts in your mouth!
The outer layer tastes just like donut batter with vanilla bean ice-cream inside of it and maple syrup drizzle to top it off. It was so delicious, my mouth is watering as I type.
Side note – The wait staff are very friendly and attentive. The service I received was also very prompt.
All in all, I would wholly recommend Gyoza Bar to anyone looking for a tasty, reasonably priced restaurant in the heart of London, serving up authentic Japanese cuisine for diners to enjoy in an informal, cosy setting.