Lunch Date with Mike @ Gyoza Bar ANN

On Friday, we were able to get out of the hospital earlier than usual. That meant an opportunity for a late lunch date!

Gyoza Bar Ann had been on our list of places to try, specifically for their dumplings. We arrived a little after 2pm, loudly greeted at the door by very friendly and hospitable staff.

My date!

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The lunch menu included Tower Lunch Boxes ($12 each), which of course, we each got. Each Lunch Box comes with steamed rice, a green salad and the choice of one out of 12 main dishes. 6 of the choices are gyoza (dumplings) and the other 6 vary from teriyaki, karaage, sashimi and tofu.

We missed the lunch rush 🙂 Lovely restaurant almost all to ourselves!

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Without much deliberation, Mike chose the spicy gyoza (made with pork) and I chose the cheese gyoza (made with chicken).

And, since it was Friday, we got drinks! Asahi for Mike and a Chu-Hi Lychee cocktail for me 🙂

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We didn’t have to wait long for the food, even though it says 10-15 minutes on the menu. Our dumplings came out on a sizzling hot plate with some onion and green beans. The staff brought over the gyoza sauce which we poured into the hotplate and let the flavours sizzle away for a minute more.

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Rice was slightly overcooked but good flavours. Salad was fresh with a lovely dressing.

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The dumplings were crisp with flavourful filling. My cheese gyoza also had tomato in it, added to the juiciness of the meat. Mike’s dumplings were oh-so-spicy – I couldn’t handle more than one.

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A really nice experience, we will definitely come back to try different dishes soon!

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Lunch Date at The Villager

Mike and I decided we would need to wind down a little after our written GP exam last Wednesday. We booked a 50% off lunch deal for Gastrobar at The Villager Hotel ahead of time and were seriously looking forward to checking out a new place and having some good food.

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We showed up nearly 40 minutes before our reservation time but were happily shown to our seats and given menus.

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For drinks, Mike tried a 4 Pines Pale Ale for the first time that he was quite happy with.

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I got a Lychee Lime Mint Frappe. Refreshing, although lychee flavour was completely overpowered by the lime and mint. I ordered this drink specifically for the lychee so it was a little sad not to taste it at all!

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We shared a plate of Crisp Pork Belly cooked in a sticky caramel, orange & chili sauce. Although the pork belly had a nice crisp and the sauce was sticky and delicious – I dont think the meat was actually cooked in the sauce (rather tossed in it once cooked) because the flavours were not infused into the meat.

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BIG Bad Boy Chips were piping hot, crispy and delicious with the jalapeno aioli

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For mains, Mike ordered the Lamb Cutlets with chunky potato gems, smoked aubergine, yoghurt & spinach leaves. Lamb was nicely cooked although way too much sprinkled salt. His mouth was burning a little by the time he finished his meal. He also wasn’t a fan of the potato gems, they were chewy/starchy and had such an odd texture!

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I got the Morcilla & Manchego Kiev – stuffed chicken breast served on king brown mushrooms with chunky pumpkin & mushroom puree. Chicken was perfectly cooked and I loved the perfect crisp. I wish there was more of the black pudding and cheese stuffing though, I could barely taste them. The pumpkin was delicious and the mushroom puree was thick and full of flavour. Would’ve liked more mushrooms than 3 little slivers though, especially when the menu says, “served on king brown mushrooms.” 🙂

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Gastrobar invites you in with a relaxing atmosphere and a great selection at the bar. Definitely the kind of place we would revisit with friends for drinks to unwind after a long day. Food was overall delicious with great presentation but a little pricey at regular price (ie. $9 for side of chips).

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The only negative aspect of our visit: We were overcharged around $15 and lucky had a receipt to prove it. When we returned a few minutes later to ask for the difference, an employee who just started her shift wouldn’t listen to our explanation and kept interrupting, insisting the bill was correct until the 3rd or 4th attempt at pointing out the mistake. Everything was completely fine in the end, but it just left us with a slight sour taste in our mouth.

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