I was super excited to hear that the Aburi Restaurant group had opened another restaurant. Under the same company has Miku and Minami, Gyoza Bar Ramen is now their third restaurant, offering, as the name says, specialty in ramen and gyozas. However, shortly after their opening, I heard that the restaurant was just average and way overpriced. Urbanspoon had some of the lowest ratings as well. I decided it was time to give it a try anyways to see what this talk was about. The restaurant is modern yet rustic, and is very casual compared to their other restaurants.
Japanese Fruit Wine – Ichigo (Strawberry) and Yuzu (citrus) – doubles
We started off with Japanese Fruit Wine. On the left was strawberry flavoured, and on the right was the yuzu. These were already doubles, but they were quite small! Similar to plum wine, these were flavoured as described. I liked my yuzu wine as it was slightly sour, but not overbearing. Very refreshing.
Fraser Valley Pork Teppan Gyoza (7pc)
Next were their famous gyozas. The Fraser Valley Pork Teppan Gyoza is their signature dish, if I remember correctly. We chose the 7 piece dish and it came in a cast iron pan. The gyozas were good with a nice pan fried crisp, but it’s hard to say that they were extremely memorable.
Spicy Garlic Soy and Umami Soy Suace
The teppan gyozas come with two sauces. One is a spicy garlic soy and the second is the umami soy sauce. I preferred the spicy garlic soy sauce as it had more of a kick to it.
Miso Short Rib + Jalapeno-Soy Glaze
They also offer three other specialty gyozas. We tried the Miso Short Rib and Jalapeno-Soy Glaze Gyozas. The gyozas were deep fried and topped with feta cheese, peppers and mushrooms. They were slightly spicy, but I actually didn’t prefer them to be deep fried. These were quite average, but very pricey! Five gyozas for over $12!
Aburi Pork Char Siu
We ordered an appetizer of Aburi Pork Char Siu. Again, it came in a little pan. The pork was quite disappointing to be honest. Nothing special, and I felt that it was under seasoned. It came with a sous vide egg, radishes and a side of bread to complement. Very average and nothing special.
Tamari – Shoyu Tonkotsu Pork Ramen
Lastly, we tried their ramen. I believe their signature ramen is the tomato-saffron ramen, but it is priced at the high price of $17! Instead, we opted for the Tamari-Shoyu Tonkotsu Pork Ramen. The noodles were on the skinny side and cooked to al dente. It was topped with aburi pork char siu, soft boiled egg and kale. I found it odd that they used kale instead of the traditional seaweed. I didn’t find the broth to be very good as well. Something seemed to be missing.
Overall, I would agree with others that Gyoza Bar + Ramen is quite average. I wouldn’t say the food is terrible, but the price is not worth the quality of food. If the price is lowered, then I would be more likely to revisit. Great location in the heart of downtown, and service was decent.