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Part of the 2009 Izakaya Crawl.
THIS IS A REVIEW:

I can sum up the biggest problem we had at Gyoza King by telling you that their website does not have an English version. Yes, this is a Japanese expatriate hotspot. Weirdly, I felt like I was transported back to Hong Kong, trying to order from a street vendor who didn't speak Mandarin or English well. A conversation my roommate had with the waitress, as verbatim as I can remember:

"Does this come with rice?"

"You want a rice?"

"No, I mean, does this come with rice?" *points*

"You want a rice?"

"Yes, I want rice, but does this come with it already?"

"You want a bowl rice? Small bowl?"

*sighs* "Yes, I want a bowl of rice."

As it turned out, the dish she was asking about, the katsudon ($3.95), did indeed come with rice:


But it was okay. The Boyfriend and I split one bowl, and she had the other. I was pretty sure that the "don" in "katsudon" meant "on rice" but I wasn't 100% sure, hence her question.



Gyoza King used to have a reputation for being very adamant about not serving sushi or sashimi. But they've now relaxed, obviously, because while there wasn't any sushi, there were several raw seafood options on the menu on our visit, including raw oysters. Very fresh, with the only garnish being a tiny piece of lemon. Yum.



Of course you can't go to Gyoza King and not get gyoza! We got six of the shrimp and pork gyoza ($4.95). A nice crispy exterior and moist, flavorful interior. What more can you ask for?

We also got drinks but for some reason I neglected to take a picture of them? Oops. We all got chuuhai, a popular cocktail genre in Japan, which is a blend of fresh juice and shochu. I had grapefruit juice and Moonlight.

Gyoza King was a breath of fresh air, or perhaps a mouthful of tasty food, after our bad experience at Hapa Izakaya. I felt better saying goodbye to my roommate here than I would have at Hapa.

I should mention the atmosphere. Gyoza King is very small, and so reservations may be a good idea. We did not wait, and we sat at the bar, Japanese style with our shoes off. Nice warm lighting and almost a cafe feel.

Oh, and something funny happened on the way out. It was my turn to pick up the bill, so I went to pay with my credit card. The decoration of my credit card is an American flag, so I often have people strike up conversations with me about where I'm from--it's part of the reason I got the design, since I like to travel internationally. But I've never had something happen like what happened at Gyoza King. Here, again, as verbatim as I can make it through the language barrier.

Me: Here's my credit card.
Waitress #1: Ehhhhhhhhhhhh?!?! Kawaii desu!!!!
Waitress #2: Oohhhhh, kawaii!
Waitress #1: Sugoi ne?
Waitress #2: Chou kawaii!
Me: Uh, thanks. :)
Waitress #1: Here you go! *hands me the bill to sign*
Me: *gets my bill back and starts walking away*
Waitresses: *chattering in Japanese with lots of "kawaii!" peppered throughout*

It's just an American flag! LOL.

Next and last stop: Zakkushi!

THIS IS A SUMMARY:
Name: Gyoza King
Location: 1508 Robson St. Vancouver BC 604-669-8278
Prices: Pretty cheap. You could easily eat your fill here for $15.
Service: Friendly, but not the best English ability.
Food: Very authentic and tasty.
Recommended?: Japanese food has a reputation in the West as being dainty, expensive and tiny. Gyoza King shows that it can also be hearty, filling and reasonably-priced. I liked it very much.

Gyoza King on Urbanspoon

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