Most of the time, a Japanese restaurant welcomes you with a pagoda, cherry blossoms, and a red-black-white motif. The newly-opened Chao Chao Gyoza Bar in BGC says otherwise.
Chao Chao Gyoza Bar changes your perception of typical Japanese restaurants with its neon lights and aesthetics. The first-ever gyoza bar in the country lets you experience a different Japanese kind of dining while maintaining the classic gyoza and beer pairing.
The new rebranded bar veers away from the traditional look of its original branches in some areas of Manila and branches in Osaka. Chao Chao Gyoza Bar will welcome you with pink and purple neon lights with the hint of a cozy dining experience as viewed outside the restaurant. You will think the bar is more like a lounge than an actual restaurant, with Japanese-style tables if diners would like to sit on the floor. There is also a large, eye-catching psychedelic mural made by the Japanese artist Yasuko Sensyu accented by the purple lights hanged on the wall, as the centerpiece of the bar.
New look, same gyoza goodness
With the vision of translating classic Japanese after work habit into the Philippines, International Marketing Manager Masahiro Urabe delivers a new look of the gyoza bar. In the Japanese culture, it is quite a habit to eat and drink liquor at the same time, to relax and chill out after a long day of work.
The classic Japanese gyoza looks like a crescent-shaped pleated dumpling. Their pan-fried Chao Chao Gyoza Bar (P88 is a set of 8 pieces) is an array of almost rectangular tubes open on both ends. It has the usual ground pork ingredient with a bunch of secret items that makes their gyoza stand out. Most of the ingredients are sourced from Japan, but they use local pork in their dishes.
The gyoza is affordable price-wise since affordability is also what Chao Chao Gyoza is hoping for. “Our vision is for everyone all over the world enjoy gyoza,” said Urabe in an interview with Manila Insider. And since gyoza has been widely popular in Japan across generations, it is great to share it with everyone.
Insider tip: Dip it in shoyu or miso sauce to enhance the flavor of your gyoza. Spice it up with a little chili oil too!
With over 10 variants of gyoza to choose from, you won’t run out of gyoza flavors to try. If you’re having a hard time choosing, or you want to taste them all, you can always try their gyoza sampler that comes with five types of dumplings: NB (original pork flavor), Ebi (shrimp), Chicken and Cheese, Spinach, and Curry.
Insider tip: You can try the Chao Chao Gyoza + Beer and Ebi Gyoza + Haiboru (Japanese Whiskey like Hibiki, Santori, Yamasaki, and Hakusho, + Soda) as recommended by Urabe himself.
If you are a cheese lover, you can’t go wrong with their Tori Chizu (P88, three pieces per order). Eat it while it’s warm and taste it without any dip to savor the chicken and cheese stuffed inside. There are also some other munchies other than gyoza like gyoza-skin nachos, and Salt Sauce Cabbage (P88), where the fresh cabbage with simple-and-herb dressing.
For variety, taste the contrasting flavors of Chicken Meat Balls (P288), which is served with teriyaki sauce and stir-fried bean sprouts. To finish your meal, why not cap it off with their tasty Chocolate Gyoza (P88)? Better eat your fried gyoza stuffed with chocolate and dip it with your vanilla ice cream and let the goodness linger in your mouth. Surely you’ll want to have more of this sweet dessert.
Chao Chao Gyoza Bar might not be the typical Japanese restaurant you would think of, but once you enter their bar, you’re definitely in for a treat.
Which gyoza flavor is your favorite? Share your favorite with us in the comments!