I’m a great fan of Miku & Minami, the aburi specialty sushi sister restaurants. When I first heard that they would be opening up a new restaurant that would specialize in gyoza, I was stoked.
A gyoza joint run by my favorite aburi joint?? I couldn’t wait to try them. Their grand opening was on September 6th, so I decided to go there for my birthday at the end of the month.
The decor was nice with romantic candlelight on each table. Half of the kitchen was open and as you walked along, you could see inside the rest of the kitchen through the windows. My interest was captured by the machine they had to make the noodles I assume. There isn’t a lot on the menu though. I’m not sure if that’s because they just opened, or if their menu is just going to have a small selection.
The place was quite busy (which is expected since it was new), but our server was quick to come over to give us the menus and introduce himself. He came back fairly soon to check up on us and take our drink order. Ramen and gyoza makes me crave beer, so I wanted to get the Sapporo but they were unfortunately out of it. I settled with the Orchard Fizz and Sir Durr went to the Strawberry Lemonade which I ended up enjoying more. While the presentation of the drinks were nice, it was so loaded with ice that I couldn’t stir it to mix the drink up. It might also be due to the skinny/tall glass that I had as Sir Durr didn’t seem to have the same issues with his drink.
For starters, after some debate, we decided on the Aburi Pork Char Siu with sous-vide egg. The sauce was very good and I liked the baby pickled radishes. But I was expecting something different for “char siu”, this was more like the simmered pork belly type.
Ever since I saw this on their pictures, I knew I had to get it. The crispy bit and perfectly browned bottoms looked so delicious. The gyozas were served with two kinds of dipping sauce, spicy garlic soy and umami soy sauce. I found neither to be that great, I actually prefer the traditional ponzu for my gyozas. While the wrappers were nice and thin, the gyozas were only mediocre. The inside wasn’t very juicy and the filling tasted like nothing special.
To finish, we had a Pork Tonkotsu Broth ramen. The broth was quite rich and thick which was nice. But it just tasted salty and otherwise bland. Not the flavourful and rich tonkotsu broth that I’m used to at ramen places. Even the broth at benkei tastes better and they aren’t even my favorite ramen place in Vancouver. The char siu was meh, the only thing nicely done was the half-cooked egg with the creamy yolk.
Overall, I was disappointed. The food was not bad per se, it was just okay. I’m hoping that this is just because they are still working out some kinks seeing as they are new and all. I might go back and try a couple months later down the road. But for now, I’d say they’re not worth trying out just yet.