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The gyoza and ramen at London's latest Japanese dining spot, will bowl you over says Kaye Holland

Overlook the location of this little gem of a restaurant (Gyoza is situated on St Martin’s Lane - aka the heart of tourist land)  and you'll find one of the best budget friendly Asian restaurants in London.

The refreshingly minimalist décor – think simple dining tables, rugged wooden floors and exposed brickwork walls – set the scene and help to create a pleasant ambience.

Service is swift and super friendly (Gina in particular, is a delight) and the menu un-intimidating. As you would expect from the restaurant’s name, there’s a decent list of gyoza (traditional Japanese dumplings) plus small plates, steamed buns (called bao) and ramen (noodle soup) dishes to poke your chopsticks into.

TNT started with the Salmon gyoza - delicious little parcels that can be served deep fried, pan fried or steamed - spicy edamame (excellent) and the omakase. The latter is a long plate consisting of hiyashi wakame, aubergine harusame, green beans gnomae and sweet potato chips that, if you're anything like theTNT team, you won't be able to resist hoovering up.


Omakase

Moving onto mains, we plumped for the signature Tempura ramen - perfection in a bowl. The seafood was perfectly cooked and the vegetables (spring onion, steam broccoli and bean sprouts) crisp, while the  steaming mound of noodles proved wonderfully warming on what was a unseasonably cold April night. The portion size was impressive too and would easily have fed a few hungry bears...

So much so that we didn’t have space for dessert. Howeve the splendid, if oxymoronic, sounding Fried ice cream caught our eye for a future visit.


Ramen

Yes we’ll be back for there are a number of exciting dishes not to mention drinks (expect Japanese beers, bespoke cocktails and authentic sake) we’d still like to try. Plus Gyoza has a pleasant urbane buzz to it, with the midweek crowd consisting of an amalgamation of hungry workers and boisterous tourists.

Bottom line? Gyoza Bar doesn’t serve up haute cuisine, but it does make for a pleasant central London spot in which to indulge in a not so- light lunch or dinner, at purse pleasing prices.

NEED TO KNOW
Gyoza Bar (020 3601 7077)
63-66 St Martin's Lane 
London 
WC2N 4JS  


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Restaurant review: Gyoza Bar
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