If you ever get the chance to visit Harajuku in Tokyo, you’ll realise that it is known for its youthful culture, playful costumes and outfits, along with constant bustling crowds. The newly opened Harajuku Gyoza in Potts Point encapsulates this atmosphere perfectly. There’s a giant cartoon gyoza on the wall, Japanese Nintendo-like midi tunes playing in the background and staff screaming OSAKE WO HAIRIMASUUUU (pour the sake!) whenever someone orders the rice wine. Yep, this place is the closest thing you’ll find to an Izakaya Bar in Japan.
Chicken Karaage – $8
The menu is short and sweet, with items at surprisingly affordable prices given the area. All the plates are made for sharing, and we kickstart with the chicken karaage, which are fried crispy and served with some mayonnaise. Can’t go wrong with fried chicken!
Poached Duck Gyoza (5pcs) – $8
Grilled Lobster Tail Gyoza (5pcs) – $12
Grilled Whole Prawn Gyoza (3pcs) – $8
We then move onto the gyozas (dumplings) with one poached and two grilled to try both cooking styles (you can choose either cooking style for all gyozas). The poached duck gyoza is served plain and isn’t that interesting. It doesn’t taste like duck and lacks the soft texture and fattiness you often find with duck. Thankfully, there are some basic side condiments (soy sauce, vinegar, chilli oil) which can be used to add some flavour. Both the grilled gyozas are much better fortunately. The lobster tail contains actual big chunks of lobster and the whole prawn is an actual whole prawn in its entirety (as opposed to diced prawn meat), that has been wrapped in a dumpling skin. The tail is still sticking out giving it a cocktail-type feel and it is juicy and tasty.
Pork Katsudon – $12
By this stage, we’re not completely full yet so we grab the classic Japanese dish of pork katsudon. It contains crispy pan-fried pork with an egg omelette underneath, so the pork remains crispy. It’s not the easiest dish to share on our share plates but is delicious nevertheless.
Salted Caramel Gyoza with Ice Cream – $9
Nutella Banana Gyoza with Ice Cream (3pcs) – $9
Our intended last dish for the night were their selection of dessert dumplings. These come out fried and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The salted caramel one oozes out salted caramel and it surprisingly goes well in a dumpling as it isn’t oily at all, despite its fried outer shell. This is Yvn’s pick of the night, although I much prefer the nutella banana variation which contains melted nutella and mushed pieces of banana inside. The downside to the dishes is the ice cream though which isn’t of particularly high quality and richness.
Pork Belly Kakuni – $13
Despite already eating dessert, we saw the table next to us order multiple plates of the pork belly. It looked so tantalising that we had to put in an order ourselves, and I’m quite glad we did! The dish contains four pieces of pork belly of approximately two-thirds meat and one-third fat which melts in your mouth, underlaid with sweet soy flavours. Screw dessert, this is how a meal should end!
Overall, Harajuku Gyoza is a great addition to the Sydney scene, bringing in the flair of Tokyo in the heart of Potts Point. It’s a fun place to end the week with share plates and their selection of Japanese beers and rice wines and will be one to keep an eye on.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Harajuku Gyoza
9/15 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point NSW 2011
Ph:(02) 9356 3834