We're not long home from our week in Japan and we're really missing the vibrancy and kookiness of Toyko. Luckily for us a visit to Potts Point's newly owned Harajuku Gyoza transports us back to Japan...for an hour or two.
The Boy jumps right in and orders the kookiest thing on the menu, Frozen Beer ($7.00) and promptly gives himself a brain freeze. The beer is just regular beer that comes with a frozen, beer-flavoured slushie top. One for the beer fans I'd say.
I decide to keep things a bit more traditional and order a refreshing Iced Green Tea ($3.00). I like the tea isn't sweetened...it's a little bitter and perfectly Japanese.
We decide to order two types of Gyoza from the six or so varieties on offer. It's hard for The Boy to pass up an order of Grilled Pork Gyoza (5 pcs for $8.00) and the Grilled Duck Gyoza (5 pcs for $8.00) is too tempting for me not too order. I prefer the more subtle flavour of the Duck Goyoza as I often find the overtly porkiness of Pork Gyoza (or any pork dumpling, XLB included) a bit too...porky for my palette. Trying saying that last sentence in a hurry without getting tongue tied!
I really love the freshness of the Cucumber and Miso Salad ($5.00). The nutty tasting miso comes dolloped on top and is more of a thickish paste than the thin dressing we were expecting....not that there's anything wrong with that!
The White Sesame Salad ($6.00) is an absolute winner and gets two thumbs up from both of us and it comes with a few renkon chips hidden beneath the mound of freshly grated red cabbage and carrots. The creamy, white sesame dressing is so delicious I want to lick the bowl clean (I didn't, don't worry)!
The Chicken Karaage ($8.00) arrives at our table pipping hot and with a nice dollop of creamy Kewpie Mayonnaise on the side. Is Kewpie Mayonnaise one of the best things on the planet or what? What makes it SO much better than regular mayonnaise I wonder (besides the cute bottle I mean)?
There are two pork dishes on the menu here, but as we'd overdosed on Pork Katsu in Japan we decided to order a serve of Pork Belly Kakuni ($13.00). Thick, fatty pieces of pork belly wobble as we pick them up with our chopsticks. The meat is so tender it breaks apart easily and it has a wonderful zesty flavour from being marinated in a mix of dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake. Unlike the Gyoza I'm pleased to see they serve this pork in an even number so that we're not left fighting over who gets the last piece!
And last, but not least...a quick visit to the loos here reveals that this is truly an authentic Tokyo experience (honestly, I just don't get how these loos work - no wet tushy for me thanks Japan)!
Harajuku Gyoza is at 9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point. Phone them on 9356 3834.