Gyoza in Singapore used to play second fiddle to that bowl of ramen, typically ordered as a side dish. With the openings of gyoza specialty shops Osaka Ohsho, Keisuke Gyoza King and Gyoza-Ya, it is time we pay attention to these humble dumplings.
Gyoza-Ya opened by the Akashi Group seems very promising, though hidden at the basement of Robinsons Orchard. (It’s at the former Heeren – very quiet though, who goes there?)
With a loud resounding “irrashimase!”, Gyoza-Ya belongs to one of the rare Japanese restaurants in Singapore who got the ‘welcome’ word right, plus said in great gusto. Creates the mood – tick tick. Take the counter seats. It’s more fun.
The Pan Fried Dumplings with Pork ($4.80) are moderately crisp on the skin and packed with juicy tasty pork with minced cabbage. Undeniably better than the soggy dumplings what many other ramen shops offer.
The skin is air-flown regularly in Japan, while the gyoza is made on-the-spot in-house using a special mixer where every gyoza will turn out even and uniform.
There are also Boiled Dumplings ($4.80) drizzled with light miso sauce available.
We were encouraged by the service staff to order the Jyajya Men ($6.50) – thick noodles with minced pork and special miso. There is a particular sequence we can follow, cracking an egg after you are almost finished with the noodles, added with some noodle soup towards the end.
The whole process seems more fun than the actual eating. The plain tasting noodles were well boring to eat, and needed some other condiments and miso to enhance the flavours.
While the Gyozas are frontrunners, the other side dishes were mildly disappointing. The Japanese Garlic Fried Rice ($5.80) was fragrant but dry, Nikujyaga ($4.80) had appetizing gravy but tough beef, and Tori Karaage ($3.80), well, just like any other karaage.
Gyoza-Ya offers one of the best dumplings around, the other dishes need work though.
B1-02A Robinsons Orchard, 260 Orchard Road Singapore 238855 (Somerset MRT), Telephone: +65 6737 5581
Opening hours: 11.30am to 10pm Daily