Last Updated: May 29, 2014
Gyoza-Ya is a Japanese casual dining restaurant specializing in Gyoza (dumplings) selections on their food menu. Conceptualized by home-grown Japanese restaurant chain Akashi Group, Gyoza-Ya provides an open kitchen view with specially designed bar seats around it, so you can watch the chefs in action.
They utilize an automated gyoza machine to ensure consistent weight and size, as well as an automated ramen boiler situated in the kitchen. Most of the ingredients are imported from Japan though, to ensure highest quality similar to what you can get in Japan.
Yuzu Soda ($4.80). A decent refreshing drink to kick start your meal, with bits of yuzu in the drink as well providing a zesty chew.
Nasu Miso Gake, Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso ($4.80). The cold eggplant was very mild in flavour, reduced even more by the coldness, probably to provide texture and balance the strong taste of the sweet miso bean-paste. An interesting cold appetizer to tantalize your taste buds, but I wasn’t a fan.
Most ingredients, from handmade gyoza skin dough to the special sauces are specially flown in from Japan. There are two styles of gyoza – pan-fried or boiled.
Pan-fried Dumpling with Prawn ($5.80). The prawn gyoza was just recently launched on their menu. Upon your first bite into it, you will be convinced as to why this restaurant is a gyoza specialist. The combination of crisp outer skin with moist and juicy fillings within, plus the sweetness of minced prawns – I am completely sold.
Pan-fried Dumpling with Pork ($4.80). The standard, classic gyoza. The fillings are really generous which makes every bite very satisfying. You could further enhance the flavour by dipping into their special gyoza sauce made with a heavily guarded secret recipe. There are other condiments like sliced ginger and Japanese chilli oil that you could mix together with your sauce to tantalize your taste buds more.
Pan-fried Dumpling with Vegetables ($4.80). Not exactly a very appetizing photo, but thought I’d show you what the inside of a vegetable gyoza looks like- a mess meant for the tummy. Equally flavourful like the others, a great dish if you like your chives.
Soboro Ankake Moyashi, Beansprout with Minced Beef and Fish Meat ($4.80). The minced meat went well with the beansprouts although I didn’t really like the fishy aftertaste. Could probably go well with a bowl of rice since this side dish is on the salty side.
Boiled Dumpling with Pork ($4.80). The only difference from the pan-fried ones were the lack of crispy skin but the citrus miso dressing creates a new flavour with the soft skin. Consider the boiled gyoza should you prefer something gentle on the palate, but I personally still like the pan-fried ones for their fried texture.
Ninniku Yaki Meshi, Japanese Garlic Fried Rice ($5.80). The short grained rice was a little too tough for my liking, suggesting an undercooked state. The garlic fragrance was definitely there, but I feel this dish could have been better flavoured with more stock.
Nikujyaga, Japanese Beef Stew with Vegetables ($4.80). The beef slices were decent, and the sweetness of the broth was pleasant. I particularly liked the Hokkaido potatoes that was actually fried before its further cooked in the stew. Seth didn’t like the potatoes though, as he thinks it tasted like soggy wedges.
Jyajya Men, Thick Noodles with Minced Pork and Special Sauce ($6.50). The final highlight of Gyoza-Ya: Singapore’s first ever Japanese style Zha Jiang Mian 炸酱面. A Japanese adaptation from the Chinese dish, Jyajya Men is quite rare even in Japan itself – there are only two specialized Jyajya Men restaurants in Tokyo.
Gyoza-ya introduces an interesting way to having this dish. First, mix the cucumber and leek garnish, kishimen style noodles, miso minced pork together and enjoy it as dry noodles. When you are left with a mouthful serving of noodles (like 3-4 strands of noodles literally), tell the service staff.
They will give bring you a soft-boiled egg, and clear broth to add to your noodles to finish off as a soup. Season with more Jyajya Men miso to taste.
I preferred the dry noodles way more than the soup one. The noodles could be an acquired taste and I was more intrigued by the interesting way of having Jyajya Men instead.
Gyoza-Ya takes pride in their quality of food and sauces while maintaining their food at affordable prices. Despite the side dishes not being very impressive like the sidekick to a superhero, I will definitely still stop by Gyoza-Ya when I have cravings for their hero: Gyozas.
Expected Damage: $20-$30/pax