In a city where the streets positively flow with ramen, you have to do something special to stand out, and that’s exactly what Seigo Nakamura and Chef de cuisine Mike Acero are doing at Gyoza Bar, which opened in September 2014.
It’s All about the Noodles
Served with fresh seafood, Gyoza Bar’s ramen is reminiscent of a bouillabaisse: the broth is rich and aromatic, perfumed with saffron with a pleasing hit of umami. But it’s not just the broth that takes time; the team also brought in a special noodle-making machine from Japan so they can make them from scratch in-house.
And what makes these noodles special? It’s all about the elasticity, apparently. Often when you eat ramen the noodles are good for the first few bites but then they lose their shape and become too mushy. Not at Gyoza Bar. “We make the broth in-house the old-fashioned way,” says Mike. “We use slow cooking methods to layer it with flavour. It’s a two-day process involving roasting bones and we use no MSG at all. It’s time-consuming but it’s worth it.”
An Ideal Neighbourhood Spot
Gyoza’s Pender Street location welcomes plenty of university students and office workers from downtown amongst its customers, along with a solid stream of workers in the restaurant industry. “Chefs and cooks love to eat food like this,” says Mike. And with happy hour deals, new specialty gyozas and seasonal dishes hitting the menu along with an expanded tapas selection too, who can blame them?
“Customers like to sit at the table opposite the open kitchen and see the noodles being made,” says Mike with a laugh. “We go through an average of 200 portions of them a day, so there’s lots to see.”
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