Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vancouver: Gyoza King

ruling since 1993

:Robson-West End :

The popularity of izakayas has finally infiltrated Toronto with the opening of Guu. I won’t bother comparing it to Vancouver’s, as the disparity between sushi in the east and west is obvious. Guu has a fanatical following, as evidenced by how quickly it has expanded. I like Guu, enough, but that’s because I’m partial to izakayas. They’re generally loud, obnoxious and fun – just like me - only they serve delicious food and sake cocktails.

Vancouver is ground zero of izakayas. And with so many to choose from, why does Gyoza King reign supreme? It may have to do with its eternally loyal patrons. I have been one since I first went in 1997. Restaurants generally wax and wane as their popularity grows, with their baseline eventually falling far below where they started.  GK set the bar high, and more than a decade later, it continues to meet or exceed it.

It has been around longer than newer brazen versions like Guu and Hapa Izakaya. While the latter are hip and trendy, the small and dimly lit ambience of GK is the perfect setting to let food shine. I think the menu is understated genius. The dishes are perfectly executed and while some would say overly simple, I disagree. The flavour combinations are always in harmony and the dishes are charming. My favourites are ebi mayo, negi toro, okonomi, yaki udon and the Chef’s daily special. I didn’t actually try the gyoza until last year’s trip, and it didn’t disappoint.

GK is simple elegance served in the hustle-and-bustle of an izakaya. Enter the kingdom, and leave a devoted citizen.

Gyoza King on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Goodness, those prawns look delectable! Have you been to G-Men Ramen? It's also opened by the owners of Gyoza King... it's a quiet little ramen shop near the suburbs of Richmond so it might not be as bustling as Gyoza King but the food is just as good!


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