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Published September 15th 2019
Enjoy a taste of Japan in Darling Harbour
Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium is a Japanese bar and restaurant serving an enticing range of tapas-style food and craft beer in Darling Harbour. For a taste of Japan in Sydney, it is a great choice for a casual lunch, dinner or a quick bite to eat anytime in between.
The restaurant is located underneath the International Convention Centre (ICC), directly across from the Chinese Garden of Friendship. As you enter, you'll notice four large beer tanks behind the bar, a telling sign that this restaurant brews its own craft beer. Using Japanese brewing styles, their Yoyogi brand craft beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised with no preservatives or artificial additives. The core range of Yoyogi beer and ciders is available including Pale Ale, Dry Lager, IPA, Black Lager, Cider and Honey Cream Ale. The bar also serves imported beers and ciders from all over Japan.
Now Brewing...the bar at Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium
The ground floor features the main dining area, with seating inside and outdoors. In addition there is a mezzanine level which features a section of tiered booth seating in the style of a stadium, however, this section was closed when we attended at lunchtime.
As the name suggests this restaurant specialises in Japanese dumplings or gyoza. On the menu are around twelve gyoza varieties, ranging from the traditional fillings of pork, pork and prawn, lemongrass chicken and duck to more creative varieties of mozzarella cheese, cheeseburger, vegetable, takoyaki (octopus ball) or an open gyoza with slow-cooked pork belly. Dishes are made to share with small servings of five pieces per plate. Gyoza prices range from $9 - $14 per plate.
The dumplings are cooked to be juicy on the top but crispy on the bottom and are designed to be dipped in sauce before you eat them. In this restaurant mixing the dipping sauce is strictly DIY. Each table features a tray of condiments so you can make your own sauce. You are welcome to experiment and create your own taste sensation or alternatively, you can use the chef's recipe printed on the menu (Hint: two parts soy sauce, 1 part rice vinegar with a dash of chilli oil to taste).
There is also a selection of Izakaya sharing dishes on the menu which include Chicken Karaage, Tebasaki Peppered Chicken Wings, Tempura Eggplant, Agedashi Tofu, Slow Cooked Pork Belly Kakuni and One Foot Long Fries. The restaurant also offers some bowl dishes and a selection of salads, vegetables and sides. The menu includes vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options.
All of the dishes were hot, fresh and full of flavour. My family and I sampled the pork, lemongrass chicken and duck gyozas and enjoyed them all. However, the stand out dish for me was the tempura eggplant. While it may not look particularly appetising in the photo, trust me when I tell you it was succulent and flavoursome and should be on the top of your list to try when you visit.
The melt in your mouth Tempura Eggplant was my favourite dish
The kids who are not usually the most adventurous of eaters enjoyed everything but particularly loved the pork gyoza. The foot-long fries drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise were crispy and tasty and are a fun novelty item.
Of course, it wouldn't have been right to leave without tasting the sweet gyozas on the menu. The Nutella gyoza and Salted Caramel gyoza come in a serving of 3 pieces and are accompanied by a small serve of vanilla ice cream. The sweet gyozas ooze a delicious warm filling inside a crispy dumpling and were a heavenly way to end the meal.
Other dessert options include the famous Raindrop Cake or if you are visiting on the weekend there may be additional special desserts available such as the giant Japanese soufflé pancakes which are made fresh to order.
The special release Emperor Gyoza range (Image Credit: Harajuku Gyoza)
To keep up to date and find out about special events, you can follow on Facebook here or download the Harajuku Gyoza App to pay with your phone, earn points, and redeem exclusive member deals.
Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium in Darling Harbour is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11am until late. They are located at 1/14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour. To book a table please click here.