You can find gyoza at just about any Japanese restaurant in town, but not so many places focus solely on the one-bite nuggets of umami as a main dish. But that is precisely the arena in which Teraoka Gyoza specializes.
The interiors at the flagship Teraoka Gyoza, located on the B floor at EMQuartier, is characteristic of modern izakaya style, reflecting the value that Japanese culture places on minimalism as a design principle. A wooden sign with “Teraoka Gyoza” written in Kanji shares space with a black and white restaurant logo featuring the image of owner/chef Teraoka Yuichi, seven-time “Gyoza Champion” at the Gyoza Stadium in Tokyo (yes, that’s a real thing).
One gyoza is never enough here. Start with the Mentai-Cheese Gyoza (B209), a steamed and pan-fried chicken thigh gyoza dressed in Mentaiko (codfish) roe and sizzling melted cheese. And the cheese is so molten you can do the stretch-test to see how high you can get it to go. Salmon Ikura Gyoza (B229), exclusive to the EMQuartier branch, comes boiled and dressed in a creamy mushroom sauce with salmon and its roe on top. The rich mushroom sauce enhances the taste of the chicken inside the gyoza, and the salmon and its roe give it a fresh, salty kick to finish. And although slightly pungent, the flavour of the sauce matches well with the ingredients inside the dough.
While gyoza is the star of the show, there are plenty of other items beyond the dumpling. Among these are a standout Yuzu Shoyu Ramen (B219), exclusive to this branch. The soup is made with an umami-rich katsuo (bonito) broth, flavoured with light Shoyu, garnished with aromatic Yuza citrus zest, and topped with chicken chashu, bamboo shoots, mizuna leaves, and a marinated soft-boiled egg. The homemade wheat noodle is cooked al dente, achieving a nice firm texture and chewy bite. A dish made for winter—or the arctic chill of the mall’s air conditioning units.
Another non-gyoza dish quickly becoming a must-try is the Saba Aburi (B195), a large fillet of marinated mackerel served with fresh seaweed. The chef comes to the tableside, whips out his blowtorch, and sears the surface of the fillet, changing the texture, adding a charred taste to the fish, and giving it all a rich aroma. Add lime and wasabi to experience the full range of flavours.
A portrait of Mr Teraoka is printed on the glass in which peach-infused mineral water, Momo Tennensui (B95), is served. So you can tell him domo arigato gyoza-imashita after every bite.
BF The EMQuartier | 0 2261 0238 | facebook.com/teraokagyoza | daily 10am-10pm