Gyoza and the famed raindrop cake with wine, beer and sake at Harajuku Gyoza = YES PLEASE!!
Cue Gwen Stefani…………….”Harajuku Girls you got the wicked style, I like the way that you are, I am your biggest fan.” This song has tormented me through writing the entire article and apologies for any time I miss-word “Gyoza” with “Girls.” I have placed the full video at the bottom of the article if you want some inspiration to match reading the article. Harajuku Gyoza do things different to the norm, similar to the girls Stefani sings about. They make food (as opposed to fashion) and present it in their own, unique, way. Harajuku Gyoza took instagram and the world by storm with their now famous raindrop cake. Everything about the venue is abundantly fun and welcoming.
Harajuku Gyoza is a Japanese “pub” experience that serves snacks on the side in the izakaya style. Traditionally Japanese “izakaya” literally means “stay sake shop.” It is based on old taverns where you could stay, drink sake (and everything else), plus eat light food. Harajuku Gyoza keeps it elegant and fun, happy and professional with respect to light food, exceptional fun service and that cake.
The venue is decked out in wood fittings and mood lighting presenting a modern Japanese style. Due to the wood, splashes of red everywhere plus the darker-lit venue Harajuku Girl feels very warm. Different cultures were present and while there was various sized groups this place appears more fun with larger groups. We scored a large table at the front of the venue that included the only window to the outside. $4.50 for a bowl of edamame – these bowls were all inhaled, who doesn’t love edamame?
I HAD TO HAVE THIS DRINK. Japanese beer with a Japanese beer slushy on-top making an artificial slushy head. I loved the beer and it looked amazing but the slushy head tasted gross. Our table overall preferred the cider slushy, the sweetness of the apple I envision being more appealing than the more bitter beer.
Harajuku Gyoza offer their gyoza selections poached or grilled. All the dumplings we indulged in were crispy on the bottom and soft and steamed on top. They embraced a bit of both poached and grilled in each gyoza. FYI for bogans and peeps not in the know – gyoza are just dumplings. From what I have eaten in my travels gyoza are generally in the pictured shape. Above is the grilled pork gyoza, only $8.30 for five gyoza. Well worth it.
Above is a selection of pork, duck and chicken gyoza we re-arranged onto their amazing melamine plates. I wasn’t a fan of the picture I took but their whole prawn gyoza we also ate and worshipped, it was divine. They were all delicious, not the best in Sydney but a perfect accompaniment to indulge in while chatting and drinking. They were nice and hot and were splendid with either the soy dipping sauce or a splash of hot-sauce.
One thing you MUST DO when attending Harajuku Gyoza is request the sake experience. It’s great fun and the sake is also a nice indulgence. We watched the sake experience and then witnessed our only Japanese alcoholic friend in the group slam down an entire sake shot with finesse.
Tebasaki wings are a popular menu item although the title is a bit of a misnomer, “tebasaki” means “wing tips”, so this dish at Harjuku Gyoza is really chicken “wing tip wings” haha. Chicken tebasaki would be more appropriate, but enough of the pedantics from me, they are super tasty. I am not a huge fan of chicken wings when I am sitting in large groups as I need to groom my beard afterwards. These were a tasty treat that embraced their soy, mirin and sake marinade. Cost was $7.50 for what I think was two full wings per plate.
The plates are an amazing idea, do you remember making melamine plates in primary (or junior) school? You would draw fun things on paper and the school would send them off and a few weeks later your design would arrive on a plate. Harajuku Gyoza has hundreds of them in amazing designs, I wanted to steal an entire set haha. I instead settled on finding this SITE HERE where I am going to make a dinner set and re-embrace my youth :).
One of my favourite snack dishes and always favourite snack wherever it is sold is karaage chicken. $8.50 for the plate above, it needs little explanation, it was delicious and was inhaled by our table.
The famous raindrop cake:
We all indulged in the famed item of Harajuku Gyoza, their raindrop cake. Originally they were plain but now they also come with flowers set inside, my preferred term is “floral breast implants.” They are a treat, there are two versions, firstly the matcha and pistachio version and then a kuromitsu (Japanese sugar syrup) and kinako (roasted soybean flour) version.
Each raindrop cake comes paired with two accompaniments, one at either side. While the raindrop cake pretty much just tastes like a cake of pure water it works with the accompanying flavours. Furthermore you need to have both flavours with each mouthful to make it balance. The matcha version was amazing, the flavours of matcha and pistachio were much loved but the kuromitsu version I detested. The kuromitsu was way too overpowering for me as it tasted more like soy molasses. Oddly, our table really liked this one the most, I was in the minority, call it my Western Aussie bogan palate.
Harajuku Gyoza has more meals we did not sample due to most of them not being ideal for sharing. They have a nice selection of don and ramen we did not eat and I wish we got to indulge in the Pork Belly Kakuni. Also, I could nearly kill for the Peanut Butter White Chocolate Gyoza!!
In conclusion I will definitely return to Harajuku Gyoza for more fun, sake and the other items I missed. Located quite close to the COKE sign in Kings Cross it is the ideal place to go for pre-drinks prior to your night out.
Thanks to Harjuku Gyoza for hosting our group that was organised by a friend of mine, foodie addict Asian Food Ninja.
Harujuku Gyoza Deets:
9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9356 3834
Mon – Tue: 5pm to 1030pm
Wed – Sun: 12pm to 1030pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, ss always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.