Review: Gyoza Douraku

147 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9650 5225

It feels really strange to be writing this at 7:30PM when it’s pitch black outside. It also feels strange to be recounting a dinner that happened way back in November but that’s what I get for not blogging regularly – and this is going to change. So just as I look forward to finally being able to leave the house in glorious day light each morning, I’m going to blog at least three times a week. Promise.

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So Gyoza Douraku was the place Peter and I dined at just before a John Safran talk last year. And while I love books and self-deprecating Jewish comedians like the next Melburnian, book talks do my head in sometimes so we picked a place that would have a good selection of strong alcohol.

Choya umeshu (plum liqueur)
Choya umeshu (plum liqueur)

We went halfies on a small bottle of Choya umeshu that was sweet enough to get our brains buzzing, yet lethal enough to get our heads fuzzy. If you happened to be at the talk and heard a female laughing uncontrollably during the bit where Safran uses the John Smith and Angel Moroni analogy – well, that was me and this umeshu. Sorry.

Sauces: Japanese grain vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, fresh crushed garlic, chilli oil, and sesame oil
Sauces: Japanese grain vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, fresh crushed garlic, chilli oil, and sesame oil

Look! A raccoon! Gyoza Douraku provides all your condiments and saucy (heeh) needs in one neat tray.

Salmon sashimi (five pieces for $12.90)
Salmon sashimi (five pieces for $12.90)

Pete wanted fish so we grab a small serving of salmon sashimi. At $12.90 for five little pieces, it wasn’t cheap but it was super fresh. Also, I always give props for homemade wasabi.

‘JFC’ or Japanese Fried Chicken ($7.90)
‘JFC’ or Japanese Fried Chicken ($7.90)

We then grabbed some karaage to nibble on. I don’t remember them being tremendously awesome but they were decent – tender chicken, tasty spices and reasonably crunchy batter.

Pork and cabbage gyoza (six pieces for $7.90)
Pork and cabbage gyoza (six pieces for $7.90)

Onto the main event! The pork and cabbage gyoza were definitely better than most I’ve had in Melbourne; the crunchy skins firmly held together a filling that was juicy and delicious. I still preferred the ones at Little Ramen Bar though.

Prawn gyoza (six pieces for $9.50)
Prawn gyoza (six pieces for $9.50)

I love prawn dumplings (or prawn anything for that matter) but I thought the prawn gyoza paled in comparison to the pork ones – the filling was kind of muted and verging on dry.

We would have loved to try more dishes but unfortunately we had a show to dash off to. At just under $40, Pete said that the food was okay but a bit too expensive for what it was (then again, he’s been to Japan three times and still can’t get around the fact that Japanese food will always be more expensive and not as nice in Melbourne).

I, too, thought the food was decent. However, I did have to agree with Pete – this place didn’t represent the best value for money because we weren’t completely full… in fact, we ended up having a second dinner after the talk. I’d recommend Gyoza Douraku if you fill like Japanese nibbles (don’t want to say ‘Japanese tapas’ because only morons say that) but if you’re on a budget and want to be full, well, there are cheaper options in the CBD.

Gyoza Douraku on Urbanspoon

I eat too much.

3 Comments

  1. Curious Charlie
    April 7, 2014

    I do like this place, but like you said it’s not value for money, best to visit just for their lunch sets.

    Reply
  2. Choc Chip Uru
    April 7, 2014

    Wow needing a second dinner is not a good sign – maybe this place is good to visit if you want a light dinner 🙂
    Because the food does look tasty!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  3. Neeno - Sew Me Love
    April 7, 2014

    “because only morons say that”
    LOL

    Reply

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