Gyoza King is just down the street from Robson's trendy shopping strip and worth the walk for gyoza and other traditional Japanese dishes.
This is a place that i walk by everyday. For the 1st time last night, we went in to check it out. Very busy from 7 to 9 or so, we waited about 20 minutes to get in. Well worth the wait.
The food? Great izaka-ya, simple small dishes, we put back 6 of them without much problem. Great taste, and good presentation. This could be my favorite izaka-ya in Vancouver. The price is good too, 6 dishes and a couple big beers cost us under $60
The Service? They did pretty well considering it was packed full. A little slow when we arrived, but that was when they were at their busiest. Once the ball got rolling, they were very competent and courteous.
The Ambiance? I like it. Not fancy at all, almost diner style (Japanese diner if there is such a thing). Shoes off, not a tonne of space, but it makes a very cozy atmosphere. They focus on the food here, and perhaps not so much on the surroundings. Functional.
I will go back for sure, it is close by and an easy place to catch a good bite.
A small, tight fit with tables and people packed in like sardines -this place is crowded for a reason. The prices and portions are fair and the food is as good as izakaya grub gets. I recommend the roll-your-own (should be popular in this town) negitoro. The beer is also a good price - a big bottle of Kirin Ichiban is $6.95.
Gyoza King is always our first choice in the West End when we get together with our friends to have a good time. The food is delicious, the servers are very friendly (though sometimes a little hard to understand), and the tables clear rather quickly making it definately worth the wait.
Just thinking about the food now makes my mouth water. The sushi is very fresh, order the assorted sashimi and you'll be very happy. There are so many of dishes that stand out: Saba Miso, the Gyozas, Beef Tataki. The Kinoku Yaki Udon (Mushroom Udon) is delicious and one of my favourite dishes in the city.
If you see something familiar on the menu from other japanese restaurants, order it and be surprised. For example, the agedeshi tofu is not only beautifully presented but also delicious. Expect to spend 30 bucks a person on a meal (with beer) but it's worth every penny.
The only complaint is that the specials aren't too different each time we go and we 'have' to have the same old meals that we have grown to love.
We'll continue to be regulars!
I visit Gyoza King pretty much every Friday since that's the only weekday they're open for lunch. They have a wide selection of lunch boxes priced in the $10-15 range. Food tastes amazing and is also well portioned. To top it off, the staff always provides friendly service. Only complaint I can have for this place is they're only opened one of the five days during the work week. Or I'd be there almost everyday!
I remember my friend told me that Gyoza King (along with some other Japanese restaurants on Robson) buy their "homemade" gyoza frozen from Hon's, a Chinese restaurant famous for their wontons. This shocked me. I refused to believe it at first because I lived in Japan for two years and I would never think that a Japanese restaurant would source their food from Chinese people and pass it off as their own. The Japanese consumer is very discerning and do not accept low quality substitutes.
Unfortunately, the Robson consumer apparently is not.
FOOD: We ordered the gyoza just to test it out and it was bland and definitely looked and tasted like frozen gyoza bought from a supermarket.
DRINK: I saw an ad for awamori shochu on the wall and told my friend I had the pleasure of drinking this excellent variety of shochu made famous by Okinawa. One of the distinctive things about awamori is that it's always at least 30% alcohol by volume. Below is a clipping from the Wikipedia page:
"Awamori is typically 60 proof(30% alcohol), although "export" brands (including brands shipped to mainland Japan) are increasingly 50 proof (25% alcohol). Awamori is aged to improve its flavor and mellowness. Some brands of awamori (notably hanazake) are 120 proof (60%) and will catch fire."
My friend wanted to try some so I ordered two on the rocks, no water (~$22 total). I was specific about the "no water" part because I wanted my friend to taste the full flavour. What we got was clearly regular shochu on the rocks - definitely not 30% alcohol. I was shocked again and had an internal debate about whether to bring it up to the staff; complaining about the food in any restaurant is extremely rude by Japanese standards, and these people were Japanese. But I was sure that the drink is not what I ordered and they probably substituted less expensive regular shochu (~15% alc.) thinking I could not tell the difference, which insulted me.
I sent the drink back and the waitress was initially surprised I could tell the difference. I told her I lived in Kyushu for two years and I am a big fan of shochus from all over Japan. She insisted it was awamori and that I must be too much of a "strong drinker" to not notice 30%. But 30% is 30%. When one drinks 15% and 30%, the difference is obvious to anyone except perhaps a deceased person. She then suggested it was perhaps because she added water, despite me asking her not to. She gave me another shot to see if it was the same, but I was already thinking about leaving and never coming back.
Watch out for these so-called Japanese establishments. Some of them will misrepresent their goods in a very distasteful way that does damage to the image of Japanese quality and cuisine as a whole.
Food: This is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, and they have bar none the best gyoza. I personally think the Pork Prawn and Chive gyoza are the best and would recommend those as a benchmark dish. Other recommended dishes I would recommend are: the hamachi special when they have it; ginger pork and ginger beef sets; and the udon or ramen noodle soups. Personally I'm not so into the fish specials like mackerel, etc.
Service: Has always been excellent here. All the employees are always cheerful and polite, including the waitresses and the chefs behind the counter. I've been here many times and only once had to return something which was overcooked, which they immediately replaced with apologies and also gave us an extra tofu dish which is always great. Also, we went out of town for a while and when we came back they recognised us and gave us a free appetizer to start the meal as a welcome back; I've never had that happen at any other restaurant I've frequented.
Value: Good value, you can spend $8-12 per person and get a filling, good quality meal. Brought many friends and co-workers here and they always like it.
Ambiance: Great feeling here. Friendly employees, lots of happy noise from customers and good energy. Comfortable and clean surroundings. They pack a lot of people into the small space but it always feels cozy and intimate, like you're surrounded by friends.
Oh well, this one is real.
The food was loaded with soda or watever the Asians make your tongue have that burning sensation...All of us had that burning sensation almost for two days after we went there. Service is poor. Waitresses dont even come back after you have ordered the main dish and are dressed like they are at home (this ain't Cactus Club). They would just keep walkin up and down the counter for no reason -- just to show off that they r busy doin some work...but in reality they would be doing nothing...i have been recomending my friends to avoid this place...you r better off going to Burger King/Taco bell or any fast food joint, rather than pay the money expecting good food from a renowed Asian veg.restaurant. A shame for the area !!!
Delicious Pork+Chives Gyozas - the other two kinds (pork, and shrimp) was not as good but still fair. The ebimayo was alright, a solid 3 but not the best. However, the buttered scallop/mushrooms were disappointing. It tasted too strong (not garlic but rather mushroom-seafood). Food also took quite a while to come.
Decent, but the hostess/waitress girl had trouble understanding some of the things I said.
Comparable to other izakayas.
Dim, a little old, not very loud for an "izakaya". Solid.
Decent but I prefer to go to other places.
To be honest, after hearing a great deal about Gyoza King, I was a bit disappointed about my lunch visit. The gyozas (pork&veg) were ok. I don't find it very tasty. To me, they were a bit tasteless even. The miso ramen was good though, the soup was tasty and the noodle was perfect. Ordered the Unagi Tamago Don, which was the BBQ eel with egg on rice. The eel was tasty, but there was just a little sauce on the rice, so a bit more sauce would be really nice. And, probably it's because I don't live downtown, I found it a bit overpriced. Overall, nothing spectacular.
Ask me any day, any time: I always crave gyozas from Gyoza King. Fresh, supple skin bursting with freshly cooked filling, dipped in mouth-watering gyoza sauce ... mmmmm!
When I lived in the neighbourhood, my boyfriend and I went to "GK" almost once per week. We often considered going to other restaurants, but rarely did. The chance that it would be as good as GK was so bad, it wasn't worth the risk.
I wouldn't call it cheap, but I usually expected to pay ~$15 for a good meal.
You almost always have to wait for a table, often up to 1/2 hour, but they would let us call ahead to put our name on the list for a table.
My first impressions of Gyoza King was a cheap and cheerful. The restaurant has character and the food is better than your average izakaya.
Despite what the name of restaurant, the gyozas were just okay. They actually tasted store-bought rather than homemade. Of all the food I ordered, Beef Yaki Udon and Ebi Mayo were my favorite.
The mood is dim, cozy, casual which is great for drinking. However, it is difficult to get comfortable, due to small tables and chairs.
It does not have a hip/modern vibe. Think more Guu rather than Hapa
Gyoza King is a unpretentious, casual, Japanese Izakaya good for drinking sake & beer over delicious tapas.
I visited this place on June 19, 2008 for lunch...
OK, straight to the point, their ramen sucks!
I ordered a Shoyu Ramen. They have very thin ramen which looks kinda like egg noodles, taste fine though. But then, they only have one little piece of charshu which looked like ordinary HK-styled charshu, unlike any japanese charchu I have tasted before. They have bean sprouts but no other veggie, just like that and it costs $7.50 a bowl. Portion is not big at all, I finished it in like 5 minutes. Service is ok though.
this place is perfect for dates, i mean perfect. dark, cosy place where you can the staff (who are actually japanese) yell out orders and greet customers.
food is refreshing as its a nice change from the regular japaneses sushi places - this place serves home-cooking and no sushi at all.
price is reasonable. one down side, it doesn't take reservation. if its a large party, this is not the place, but for a table of two, you can expect to get seated in 10 to 15 mins during the busy time.
Yay for Gyoza King! This place is excellent. Next to Guu, its one of my faves. If you're going for food, make sure you get their clams in butter/garlic, fish tubes with cheese (its really good), seafood roll, ebi mayo. I think the food is great, it leaves you satisfied.
O, and I forgot to add:
You can get juicy cubes of beed on skewers for cheap (Cheaper than ordering steak!) Different parts of beef, pork cheek, pork belly, etc and then also cooked in different ways.... I think you can get pork cheek in 3 different ways, at least!
1. It's cheap.
2. Vegetable & Spinach Gyoza: how much better can a dumpling be?
3. Nabeyaki Udon: how much better can a bowl of udon be?
4. Beef Salad: simple, yet they have the right blend of beef, oil, and seasoning.
5. Robatas: hm.... they all seem to taste deliciously.
6. Chazuke Sake: Rice and salmon bits in a broth. Seems very simple and uninspiring, but is my equivalent to chicken noodles.
7. Well, everything else on the menu seems to taste great.
8. It's cheap!
We recently hit Gyoza King for some late evening snackage. The chicken karaage is some of the best we've had outside of Japan- juicy dark meat in a deliciously salty, crunchy coating. With loads of Japanese mayo.
The service is nicely efficient, and orders arrive promptly. It's not the most shiny place in the world, but as a izakaya, we're not expecting it to be. We've never been disappointed with Gyoza King, and will go all the way across town for their cheese-stuffed deep-fried squid. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
When I was a chef, this is the one place that I would come to consistently with other chefs I knew. After work this place just felt like home. The servers knew us and the atmosphere was more familiar than my right hand. I would go so far as to call it a Vancouver staple for unpretentious, Japanese pubs. The food is good, but I go because it is a great place to hangout with friends, share some laughs, and of course, some beers. If you need more specifics, the Gyo King Maguro is nice, and so is the Ebi Mayo. As for salad, the Gyu Shabu is very nice with daikon, lettuce, carrots, beef, dressed in a ponzu vinaigrette. If your preferential to spending your weekend nights at places where you don't have to shout at your friends to talk to them, then Gyoza King might just be your new Friday or Saturday night hangout.
my boyfriend and i use to love going to gyoza king for their good portions and reasonable prices. i went there last week with two other friends and the food portion is definitely not the same as before. it's actually quite sad and disappointing. the service was not as attentive as before as well and the restaurant wasnt even full. we had to ask things several times when they should've been automatic, ie. refilling waters and taking our empty plates away.
They do not, repeat do not, serve sushi, sachimi here but nevertheless they are a Japanese restaurant cafe. The rstaurant emphasizes a dislike for sushi which suits me fine but as fara s quality of food, lack of service and value Gyoza King is throughly a japanese restaurant. The food is cheap but you get what you pay for. They serve pasta dishes, salads and egg rice mixes. The food is cooked but you can do better at nearly any restaurant in town in all terms
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