by Andrew Morrison | Seigo Nakamura’s highly anticipated Gyoza Bar is framing up rather nicely. During a recent visit to the construction site at 622 West Pender St. with chef de cuisine Michael Acero, general manager Nicola Turner, and corporate chef Kazuya Matsuoka (left to right, above), I got wind of a few appetizing details.
For starters, the 80 seat, 2,600 sqft eatery won’t be hamstrung by the singular focus of just gyozas (as enticing as that may sound). It’ll also be concentrating on ramen, and in myriad ways. Acero and Matsuoka explained that they’ll be offering several different broths, among them the traditional tonkotsu (pork), miso, chicken, vegetable, and – most interesting of all – a tomato seafood essence.
These will be bowled with ramen noodles made in house with the massive (and hugely expensive) “Richmen” machine that I saw still wrapped up in a crate in the middle of the dining room (see photo #2 below). It was just freshly delivered by the noodle-loving engineers at Yamato Mfg. in Japan. It’s pretty cool that the noodle-making process will be something customers can witness close up, and proof enough that Nakamura – who also owns the innovative Miku and Minami restaurants – is looking to lead rather than compete in the local ramen scene.
But back to the gyozas! Let’s talk stuffings. There will by five: one constant made of barley-fed pork that is done in the “imono” teppan-style (cast iron griddle), and four that will change with the seasons. At launch, these will be chicken, short rib and miso, shrimp, and a vegetarian type – each plated in fives. There will also be bao-style sandwiches, a tapas menu of 12 items, salads, and bar program that will see 8 beers and 8 wines on tap, plus 6-7 sakes (natch).
Opening day is still on track for a mid-July, which can’t come soon enough.