Review: Harajuku Gyoza (Brisbane, QLD)

394 Brunswick Street
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
+61 7 3852 4624
http://harajukugyoza.com/

Sometimes, all you want is a snack of several pieces of gyoza and maybe a beer – at least that’s what I told myself one afternoon when I was shopping in Brisbane. I wasn’t hungry enough for a massive lunch but I was certainly peckish enough to want more than just a $2.50 sushi roll from a food court. And so, I ended up at Harajuku Gyoza in Fortitude Valley.

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I grabbed my seat at the bar was greeted by probably the most awesomely kitsch plate I had seen in recent memory. There’s seriously nothing like grabbing bits of food with your chopstick off a sumo wrestler’s butt, I say.

Poached pork gyoza (five pieces, $8); grilled whole prawn gyoza (three pieces, $8)
Poached pork gyoza (five pieces, $8); grilled whole prawn gyoza (three pieces, $8)

The best thing about Harajuku Gyoza is that their serving sizes are small (between three to five pieces of gyoza) so it’s perfect if you want to try more than just one variety. The only problem is that if you end up ordering a few plates, the bill will add up. I paid $32 for my meal – so much for a ‘snack.’

Frozen Kirin slushie ($7)

Oh, and I ordered a frozen beer slushie because why not? Because the beer had been frozen, the slushie was watery. In hindsight, a normal beer would have been better but hey, the slushie is great purely for the novelty factor. It also brought me back to my Tokyo trip two years ago where I tried a banana beer slushie for the first time in Shibuya. The beer was interesting, the Tinder date was (unfortunately) the complete opposite.

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So that’s what the prawn gyozas look like – I liked that they used whole prawns rather than minced ones. That said, three pieces of prawns wrapped in gyoza skin for $8 did seem like a bit of a rip. Better were the poached pork gyozas – they were plump and juicy, bursting with a tasty filling. I will definitely try the fried version next time.

Peanut butter white chocolate gyoza served with vanilla ice cream ($9)
Peanut butter white chocolate gyoza served with vanilla ice cream ($9)

In addition to more substantial savoury dishes, Harajuku Gyoza also has a dessert menu featuring sweet-filled gyoza. My peanut butter and white chocolate gyoza were surprisingly quite delicious; each dumpling contained a simple yet tasty filling of crunchy peanut butter and melted white chocolate. A quick stint on the grill resulted in a gooey, warm filling. Definitely worth a try if you have room for dessert.

In hindsight, Harajuku Gyoza was definitely not a destination for a cheap snack – then again, I admit that my eyes were bigger than my stomach that day and over-ordered. Still, I’d say it’s a good place to bond with your Tinder date over beers and a selection of shared plates before – plus, the peanut butter and white chocolate gyozas ain’t bad too!

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