Friday, November 7, 2014

Keisuke Gyoza King in Orchid Hotel, Tanjong Pagar

Someday I wish to meet Chef Keisuke Takeda and when that moment comes, I'll tell him that I'm such a big fan and I think that he's such a foodie genius. You see, Chef Keisuke has opened a total of 6 different restaurant concepts here in Singapore and I was able to try half of it already.

The first was purely accidental. I was really new here and with my birthday coming up, I just made a quick research on where's the newest ramen shop in town. This brought me to Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons that was the first time that the NKids have ever tried this restaurant and we all loved it! In fact, this particular branch has been on top of our list when it comes to saying where's the best ramen in Singapore. Then, on the first day in our new office, my colleagues and I tried Ramen Keisuke Tori King. I never thought I'll ever like Chicken Ramen as I would imagine it to be served like a Chicken Macaroni Soup. Safe, bland and boring. Well, to say that Chef Keisuke's Tori Ramen impressed me would still be an understatement. It's probably best to say that I was blown away.

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So, when I found out that another restaurant concept -- Keisuke Gyoza King was located just a few blocks away from my office, D and I made plans to try it out someday. You see, there's always a long queue in front of this restaurant during lunch hour so imagine how surprised we were when we passed by one Friday noon to see that there were still available seats inside. We quickly grabbed this opportunity and decided right there and then to dine there. Talk about being extremely spontaneous for food!

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Look at D's happy face! We get along really well because of our shared love for all things yummy!

Just like all Keisuke concepts, the menu was really simple. There's a Gyoza Set Menu (S$13.90) which consists of 6 pieces of gyoza (choice of pork/shrimp/chicken), a bowl of rice (you can specify how much you want), two side dishes, miso or vegetable soup and an unlimited fill of spicy beansprouts and cabbage salad.



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It was a good thing that we were seated inside as we got a close-up view of watching the kitchen crew hard at work. It's so cool how systematic they were and the kitchen was spotless clean! You can totally feel the Japanese vibe here where everything is done so efficiently and in such swift manner.

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When you're tired watching the kitchen crew at work, you can start preparing your gyoza sauce and have your first fill of the complimentary beansprouts and cabbage. I personally love the beansprouts and I enjoy having this with the gyoza and rice. They also have provided a bottle of Japanese Dry Sprinkle which is added on top of the sticky Japanese rice. It has a slight salty kick which made the rice so tasty.

Now here comes my Gyoza Sets! I've been to Keisuke Gyoza King thrice so all these photos is a compilation from all my visits. I would always get the Regular-Sized Rice and would mix and match the soup, gyoza and sides.

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Shrimp Gyoza Set


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Pork Gyoza Set

Actually the serving is quite big and I always end up so full every time. This is why Paul and I agreed to share a set and to just order an extra bowl of rice on my 3rd visit which turned out to be just right. The Vegetable Soup is a clear-based soup with shredded carrots and cabbage. It's perfect for those who wants something light. Whereas the Miso Soup was really good and according to friends who have been to Japan, it tasted very authentic too.

As for the gyozas -- I was also able to try the Pork Gyoza which for me was the best among the three. Juicy, pan-fried gyoza which has a small amount of juice inside so be very careful when taking your first bite. It was so yummy! The Shrimp Gyoza has crab broth but I feel was a bit lacking in flavor. I couldn't really pinpoint any distinct taste of shrimp at all. It was okay for seafood lovers but I'd still recommend the pork over this. I have yet to try the Chicken Gyoza which is said to have the same stock as the one served in Keisuke Tori King.

sides
Moving on to the side dishes, it's interesting to choose from the 8 mouthwatering side dishes available. It's actually a mix of vegetable options, seafood (fish), chicken or pork. So far I've tried the Stir-Fried Egg with Chives, Spinach with Soya Sauce & Bonito Flakes, Deep Fried Chicken with Spicy Sauce and Mixed Sesame and the Deep Fried White Fish in Tempura Sauce. Among the four, the White Fish in Tempura Sauce was my favorite. The egg was just a-okay and I don't know why I ordered it twice, the spinach had a slight bitter taste and the chicken was just so-so. I'll try the Pork Sukiyaki next time as D seemed to enjoy it.

Oh, be sure to go early as there's normally a queue that forms especially at night. The restaurant closes after lunch hour and re-opens at 6PM. We got there 30 minutes after and found ourselves 5th in line (which meant the 1st batch of diners have filled up the entire restaurant already). The restaurant is very small where only about 15 can be seated inside and there are two small tables outside. Sadly, they don't accept reservations so it's best to strategize your arrival time or to just go in small groups. Furthermore, they only accept CASH so be ready with that. In case you really ran out of cash, there are ATMs nearby but that can be quite a hassle, don't you think?

Gyoza King has now been included in my list of favorite places to eat in Singapore. It's the best place to get authentic Japanese gyoza for such a reasonable price.

Visit Gyoza King at 1 Tras Link, 01-15 Orchid Hotel, Singapore. Nearest MRT is Tanjong Pagar (then go to Exit A). 

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