Top Japanese Restaurants in Vancouver Series: Gyoza Bar / by Jenn Chan

 Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar

 

Chef Wooj tried to kill me! The Head Chef at the Gyoza Bar, one affable Japanese import named Woo Jin Kim, attempted to snuff my light by gorging me with plate after plate of Gyoza Bar's best! 

 

 

Gyoza Bar
Gyoza Bar
 Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

 Bar

Bar

 

The meal started, as all great meals do, with a couple beverages. I started with the Postmark dark IPA, an IPA and porter-like hybrid, which was very good. Jenn tried their signature Mango Mule and loved it, it seemed to disappear pretty quickly. Chef Wooj came out and was gracious enough to introduce himself and chat for a bit. "Leave it to me" he said, "you don't need a menu": exhibit A in my murder trial had he been successful! As we waited Jenn got into a Pender Collins, a cocktail of elderflower centric deliciousness, and I tried the Blood and Beauty. "Scotch, scotch, scotch. I love scotch" well Ron Burgundy I don't mind it either - 8/10. We also had an Aburi ginjo sake which I found tart and refreshing with a hint of vanilla. All engines go!

 

 

 Mango Mule & Dark IPA

Mango Mule & Dark IPA

 Pender Collins & Blood and Beauty

Pender Collins & Blood and Beauty

 Aburi Ginjo Sake

Aburi Ginjo Sake

 Head Chef Woo Jin Kim

Head Chef Woo Jin Kim

 

The first salvo in the food war was a very nice Roasted Beet Salad. It had an amazing dressing, made in-house, and the beet gyoza was very soft and flavourful. I wholeheartedly, 100% endorse the use of fruits and nuts in salads and the orange and roasted almonds make this salad an adventure. He also brought their Prawn Ceviche and Pork Gyoza. See I told you and this is just the iceberg's tip! The Pork gyoza is, bold statement coming, the best gyoza I've ever had! Pork shank and minced pork belly mixed together with few other ingredients distracting from the main oinky feature, served in a heated skillet, and served with an umami and spicy miso sauce. Absolutely incredible! Chef told us how important it was to him that gyoza be served hot and consumer hot and it makes all the difference! The ceviche was excellent, fresh and tasty! Make yourself a sandwich with the gyoza skin cracker, guacamole and prawn and thank me after.

 

 

 Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad - feta cheese, pickled beets, fresh orange, toasted almonds

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad - feta cheese, pickled beets, fresh orange, toasted almonds

 Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad

 Prawn Ceviche

Prawn Ceviche

 Pork Teppan Gyoza - served with spicy miso _ umami soy

Pork Teppan Gyoza - served with spicy miso _ umami soy

 

And then it came. The Bao Board... The pork ribs, cooked for 36 hours, were smoky and sweet and the meat was high quality. I put some in a bao bun with sriracha aioli and a couple apple slices and had a foodgasm! Also on the massive Bao Board was a succulent tenderloin, so tender and supple. I combined it in a bao bun with spicy miso and Asian slaw and it was excellent! The Chicken skewer was soft and fresh, maple garlic goodness. Toss some into a bao with butter lettuce, Asian slaw and spicy miso sauce, you'll thank me! But the plate is not finished! The Shrimp Gyoza consisted of fresh-out-of-the-water shrimp with a tangy cilantro-garlic vinegar. The restaurant should be called Gyoza King!

 

 

 Head Chef Woo Jin  Kim working on our Family Style Bao Board

Head Chef Woo Jin  Kim working on our Family Style Bao Board

 Family Style Bao Board - Maple Garlic Soy Chicken Skewers, Soy Garlic Tenderloin Skewers, Korean Spiced Pork Rib, Asian Slaw, Kimchee & Pickled Cucumber

Family Style Bao Board - Maple Garlic Soy Chicken Skewers, Soy Garlic Tenderloin Skewers, Korean Spiced Pork Rib, Asian Slaw, Kimchee & Pickled Cucumber

 Family Style Bao Board with Bao Buns & Butter Lettuce

Family Style Bao Board with Bao Buns & Butter Lettuce

 Family Style Bao Board

Family Style Bao Board

 Chili Shrimp Teppan Gyoza - with Cilantro-Garlic Vinegar + Umami Soy

Chili Shrimp Teppan Gyoza - with Cilantro-Garlic Vinegar + Umami Soy

 

So there you have it. If you'd like to sign my petition to have Mr. Woo Jin Kim charged with attempted murder please contact me at Scott@JennChanPhotography.com. BUT WAIT... Out comes a big bowl of Chicken Miso Ramen. "Don't worry about trying to finish it all" Chef Wooj exclaims "I just wanted you guys to try!" The free range chicken makes all the difference and the al dente ramen noodles, made in-house daily, with a heavenly miso broth.

 

 

 Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

 

Panting heavily after having made a valiant attempt on the ramen a smiling Chef Wooj saunters out with a Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake. A subtle matcha flavour in a decadently soft, whipped cheesecake. All 3 bites I was able to muster were light, fluffy and flavourful and I don't generally care for matcha and yet thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

 Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake - Strawberry compote, Vanille Icecream, Azuki Beans

Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake - Strawberry compote, Vanille Icecream, Azuki Beans

 

If you like gyoza or ramen or Bao or delicious cocktails or desserts I would highly recommend you head to the Gyoza Bar! Say hi to Chef Wooj for me!

 

 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan