The long anticipated Gyoza Bar + Ramen has finally opened its doors to Vancouver. I am a huge fan of Miku and I was very excited to hear that Aburi Restaurants Canada would be opening something aside from Miku and Minami. I had the experience to attend their grand opening party to try most of their signature dishes on their menu. Now you might think “Oh it’s just ramen and gyozas”, but I would like to say that these are quite innovative and interesting gyozas and ramen with a unique twist yet keeping an authentic Japanese tradition to it’s taste and service. However, it’s definitely not one of those you slurp and your forehead starts getting all sweaty ramen experiences.
With an open kitchen concept, you could choose to sit at the front of the restaurant near the windows, the far darker end of the restaurant or at the bar where you could see how the staff at Gyoza Bar + Ramen create the dishes.
Overall, Gyoza Bar + Ramen incorporates wooden tones you would see at a ramen bar in Japan along with some Western modern chic to it.
All of Gyoza Bar + Ramen’s bowls were made by local ceramic artist, Hide Ebina. Some of them were deeper than normal ramen bowls!
Gyoza Bar Mule
When I decided to try the Gyoza Bar Mule, the server told me all the ingredients and I literally stopped when I heard “oyster infused vodka”. I’m not sure how it works but I wish I could actually taste a hint of the oyster in the drink.
A dash and a splash of ginger beer, pine-nut syrup, mango bitters and line juice, this drink was a tangy and chill buzz. You could really taste the cooling effect from the ginger after a few sips.
Kale Gomae on Gyoza Chip
The kale was very flavourful in a sweet and salty flavour. It was also shredded so the texture was delightfully chewy.
I couldn’t tell that it was a gyoza chip but because the kale already had so much flavour, the gyoza chip was more simple and it gave the bite the extra crunch from the chewy kale.
Tomato and Chorizo
I’m not a fan of cherry tomatoes but I did end up trying this.
Eating the chorizo alone would be too salty, so a splash and a bite from the tomato neutralized the saltiness and it gave a sweeter and fruitier taste.
Kaisen Tomato Saffron Seafood Broth
What’s in it: prawns, mussels, chicken char siu, scallops, fresh herbs and ramen.
Using the earthy tones from saffron, fresh tomatoes and Ocean Wise seafood, Aburi Corporate Chef Kazuya Matsuoka creates Gyoza Bar + Ramen’s signature tomato saffron seafood broth with a rich and savoury broth from extended simmering before serving.
All of their noodles are house-made by their Japanese noodle maker at the back of the restaurant where you can see how they make their ramen and gyozas. The flour for their ramen is custom blended and there is no MSG in their dishes.
This was my favourite ramen given its flavour and uniqueness. The flavour of the soup was rich and very smooth in its tomato flavours that I ended up drinking the soup. I was lost in a delicious masterpiece.
Harissa Tofu Gyoza (V)
What’s in it: Harissa tofu, kabocha, yuzu coconut sauce and pineapple salsa.
This was my first gyoza at the event, and it turned out to be wonderful. I was never a fan of vegetarian dumplings or gyozas but I couldn’t tell that the filling was tofu so it tasted like a meat filled gyoza.
The taste was sweet from the pineapple salsa and the skin was crisp and thick.
Cooked in a free range chicken broth, the umami shoyu was a clear and simple ramen.
With a high-toned kale looking vegetable, there were more vegetable options in this ramen compared to the other ones.
I honestly wish I got to try more of their free range chicken because it wasn’t hot, but a delectable and juicy lukewarm thin piece of chicken. Something about it was very refreshing.
Mediterranean Salt – Shio Ramen
Deceptively simple, the Mediterranean Salt was indeed saltier than the other ramens. Cooked in a Tonkotsu broth, the saltiness was not a MSG type of salty, but more of an earthy and meaty taste to it. It also happened to be more garlicky than the other ramens as well.
What’s in it: Edamame, artichoke, relish
When the hummus was presented to me, it looked completely harmless. After taking a bite, I swear I could taste wasabi in the hummus but it could be the relish. I ate the entire piece at once and it stung. I thought I was going to cry but luckily, the flat bread toned down the flavours.
This did not taste like ordinary hummus and even when it did sting at first, I enjoyed the spiciness and the mini adrenaline from it.
Fraser Valley Pork Teppan Gyoza
To my disappointment, I actually did not get to try their famous Teppan Gyoza. Every single time it came out, my friends and I either missed it or didn’t know where it went in the crowd.
From what I heard, it was a bit difficult to separate the gyozas without tearing the skin but the meat was very juicy and flavourful. Time to work on those chopstick skills!
Hainan Chicken Gyoza
What’s in it: Ginger scallion rayu, petit carrot, bok choy and chicken dashi.
Compared to the vegetarian gyoza, the skin for this gyoza was thinner, easier to tear and more moist.