Let me just start off by saying I’m down with Japan, now I’ve never actually been but I just know I would dig the vibe. The people, the food, the excellent public transport (the somewhat strange pornography) it just seems like a cool place and I’ve been thinking about visiting a lot recently so I was very happy to hear that Harajuku Gyoza was going to open around the corner from my apartment.
I didn’t know a heap about it apart from the fact there had been one in Fortitude Valley that’s been very popular for a while now, however I’ve visited Fortitude Valley once and from what I saw there the fact that they like it was in no way an indicator that it was actually good, given I’d rather eat glass than return to that sunny corner of the country anytime soon.
Thankfully though on this occasion I’ll admit that they may have gotten it right, I visited for the first time last Friday night and it was pumping when I arrived about 9pm but wasn’t full and we got a seat at the bar immediately.
The place seems like a lot of fun and we did witness fairly quickly some kind of sake festivity which from what I could ascertain involves a couple of waitresses chanting “sake, sake, sake” whilst they poor shots for the table, highly entertaining to say the least.
Sitting at the bar the service was quick and it’s always interesting watching the staff do their thing. The menu is basically gyoza, some izakaya plates and small side dishes, the kind of food you’d eat in Japan while drinking and they do have a pretty solid selection of beers along with wine, sake and umeshu.
The pork belly looked fantastic and the flavour was great but I did find parts of it to be a little dry, I assume it’s not normally like that and besides that it was good.
The cucumber and miso salad was light and refreshing and something I always order when I eat Japanese, it cuts some of the richness from the pork belly and can save your life when you overload on chilli.
I can’t stand tofu generally and ordered this only out of obligation to my vegetarian dining partner, it pains me to say this but it was actually really good, it was light and flavoursome and may have convinced me that tofu is actually fit for human consumption.
The gyoza is obviously what we came for and it did not disappoint, I opted for the duck on this visit and 5 pieces for $8 is pretty good value in my opinion. They do them poached or grilled, I happen to like the slightly crunchy skin on the grilled but either way is good I’m sure.
Desert gyoza of Nutella and banana tasted just as you’d expect. You cant really go wrong with warm Nutella but the vanilla ice cream was a little uninspiring if I’m going to be picky, it seemed like it had melted and been refrozen.
I gave them another visit during weekday lunch and the place seemed to still get a pretty good turnout with a number of extend work lunches enjoying a few too many beers. It would be great place to go with a group for pre drinks but also on your own for a cheeky bevo and some people watching. So until I actually get the chance to visit Japan Harajuku Gyzoya will have to do, and it will do nicely, it’s got a great vibe and I definitely hope they stick around in Potts Point.
Harajuku Gyoza 9-15 Bayswater Rd Potts Point NSW 2011