These are the amazing Pork Gyozas, with a bit of pork belly on the side. As my friend said when he bit into it, "well, you don't get these in the freezer section of Superstore". And that's an understatement. The pork in each of these gyozas is very flavourful and is super juicy, not XLB juicy, but way better than others I've had. The dumpling skin is seared to a crisp on one side, and then left untouched on the other side. The wrapper itself is thin, and doesn't compete with the pork filling at all.
Here is a closeup of one of of them, see the crispy goodness of the skin, and if that wasn't enough pork or crispiness for you, add the pork belly with its signature fatty layer and crackling topping, and you'll be blown away, just as I was.
They also feature a different Miso Soup daily and today's version was one with mushrooms and tofu. I missed the seaweed normally found in miso soup, but the earthiness of the soup itself won me over. And this is a big bowl of soup, super comforting on a cold and wet Vancouver day.
In addition to the gyozas, we also got the Minami Zen set to share. It's a seasonal selection of four items, as well as five aburi sushi, as well as the miso soup above.
The Braised Beef Short Rib with Mashed Yukon Potatoes was amazing. The short rib was fork tender and juicy and the potatoes did an excellent job of soaking up all the leftover juices. Definitely a winner in my books.
Although I didn't try this, I have had their Ebi Fritter before at their grand opening and I recall it being very good as well. The crispy batter is light and the aioli offers just a hint of spice, along with some heat from the seven spice salt. You can order this as an appetizer off their dinner menu too.
Next item I tried was the Aburi Albacore Tuna Sashimi. Topped with a sweet onion relish, the fish was sliced thick and was a good sized portion. With a cool centre, the fish was creamy in texture and very sweet as well.
And perhaps the most iconic item from the Minami menu, the Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi. Local salmon slightly seared, and topped with a jalapeño and a bit of miku sauce, the beauty of this is the second piece of salmon hidden inside the sushi itself. It's creamy, smoky, and just a bit spicy, it's a perfect little morsel. I could gladly eat this for days.
- Minami Zen is $24 but is more than enough for two people to share
- Miso Soup is quite large, and probably enough to share, no need to order a second one
- Another roll worth trying is the Una-Kyu, especially if you like eel.