During the Great Dumpling Craze of 2011/12 (as I am calling it), multiple dumpling bars appeared to open one after the other, mostly located in Fortitude Valley. Ann Gyoza Bar was the last of these to open, and probably the one I was most excited about eating at, as it seems to provide the most casual and relaxing experience.
L and I aren’t eating out as much as we usually do lately (hence why blog posts may have slowed down), as we are saving our pennies for our Europe trip coming up soon, but as we found ourselves in the Valley one weeknight recently, we decided to allow ourselves a little night out.
Ann Gyoza Bar is located in the Emporium complex, in which parking can be somewhat difficult but after several laps (feeling like we were doing “mainies”, check out Angry Boys if you are confused) we finally hit the jackpot.
As the indoors area is quite cozy, we decided to sit ourselves out in the fresh air on outdoor tables and persused the menu, which is Izakaya style, or small plates for sharing. Of course, gyoza is the main feature, with six different types available. We decided to go with several plates of gyoza, chicken karaage and then rounded it out with a plate of salmon sashimi, which is my favourite thing to eat at a Japanese restaurant and always makes me feel a little healthier.
The sashimi came out first, and was very prettily arranged on the plate. Slices were very fresh, although only a few, and this of course meant I had most of the slices and L had about one.
Karaage arrived next, and was delicious, the batter seemed to have a little extra magical something, although we were lamenting the fact there was no kewpie mayo to dip our chicken into. A generous sprinkling of lemon over the top made everything better.
We chose chicken, pork and spicy gyoza, which all arrived at once, sizzling hot in their pans. Disappointingly there was no accompanying sauce, although the gyoza were sizzling away in their own oil and onions, and were extremely moist, so we didn’t miss this too much. We realised though, upon returning home and reading reviews of Ann Gyoza Bar that our sauce was totally missed by our waitress, which was unfortunate.
The pork and chicken gyoza were both extremely flavoursome and succulent, although somewhat oily on the palate. The spicy gyoza definitely had a chilli kick to them that forced me to down a glass of water, but L loved them and I tentatively chewed my way through a couple. I noticed they had a slight pink/red tinge to them, which was a warning sign of the heat to come!
L and I were very happy with our meal at Ann Gyoza Bar, which is a great casual place to have a few drinks and a few (or many) plates of food. Drinkswise, Ann Gyoza Bar is licensed, with a reasonable variety of sake and a few Japanese beers (a small list, which is what you may expect for a small eatery). I chose to have a glass of umeshu, or plum wine, which I haven’t had in a long time and it was deliciously sweet.
CAnn Gyoza Bar Shop 26, Emporium 1000 Ann Street Fortitude Valley Ph 07 3172 3020 Open Lunch and Dinner 7 Days www.gyozabarann.com.au