Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Today (Jan 31) is Tet or Vietnamese New Year! (Also known as Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year)

Happy new year everyone! I wish you all health, good fortune, and prosperity!

Last year, Mike and I had went out for a Chinese New Year banquet and then to check out some of the festivities with Christine and Tan. This year, we didn’t really celebrate as we are pretty stressed out with studying for the MCCEE.

But we had to at least go out for food. So a quick Japanese dinner at one of our favourite places, Wagaya in Fortitude Valley.

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Our favourite dishes:

The chicken karaage bento box for Michael

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And tonkotsu ramen for me… which was way too much for me, especially as upset tummy recently. But delicious as always!

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The lion dancing had just started when we were done and heading home so we paused to watch for a few minutes. Didn’t stay for very long but it looked like many people were enjoying the show!

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Look at this cute gift my grandparents gave Michael and I before leaving Canada. Can you guess what was inside? Lucky red envelopes for both of us! Thank you Ong Ba Ngoai, from the both of us!

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And lucky pockets from my mum before we left as well! I actually forgot she gave us these until she reminded me and had to go find them! 😛

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Thank you also to my Aunt and Uncle 2 for a red pocket before I left, I almost forgot! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Have a safe and great time!

Harajuku Gyoza – A long time coming

Michael is a huge fan of dumplings – so am I.

We’ve also passed by Harajuku Gyoza many many times – each time itching to go in but holding off. We finally went on April 04 during Meaghan’s visit.

Super friendly service with shouts of ‘Irasshaimase!’ (welcome) as soon as you walk in the door. Great decor as well, I really liked the plates and the lights.

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The menu is simple but offered a variety of dumplings averaging $8 for 5 pieces.

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We ended up ordering edamame (boiled young soybeans), chicken karaage (marinated and lightly battered fried chicken) and 5 gyoza (dumpling) dishes, all grilled with pork, duck, chicken, vegetable, and Moreton Bay bug filling.

Food verdict? VERY AVERAGE, nothing special.

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Edamame was great, although it’s hard to get that wrong.

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The chicken karaage had too much batter and skin for my tastes – I’ve had much better.

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The dumplings were not very flavourful. If I didn’t know what we had ordered, it would’ve been hard to tell the difference between the pork, duck and chicken gyozas. The vegetable dumpling had interesting (edamame in the filling) texture, although not great flavour. This was also my first time tasting Moreton Bay bugs – it was tasty but I wouldn’t be able to say if it was cooked well or not 🙂 I also wish the gyoza wrappers were more chewy and crispy.

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Even though the food was a little lacking, it was clear everyone (including us) were enjoying themselves. The restaurant was soon filled to capacity and buzzing with conversation. Every time a sake shot was served (from a huge bottle), the staff would yell out leaving customers laughing and a little self conscious 😛

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For dessert, we shared an apple gyoza with icecream and a peanut butter & white chocolate gyoza with icecream. Each came with 3 pieces of deep fried dumplings and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious. You simply cannot go wrong with those flavour combinations… deep fried. I was so excited to eat it, I forgot to take pictures 😦

A really enjoyable evening but we probably won’t come back unless it’s with a large group of friends for the atmosphere. We will try out other gyoza restaurants before coming back to Harajuku solely for the dumplings.

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Harajuku Gyoza on Urbanspoon