On New Year’s Eve I met my online friend (just kidding, we go to the same university but for some reason we never make time for one another so we’re basically “online friends”. I know he’s going to hate me when he reads this ((not that theres anything wrong with online friends)).), Kiely, for lunch at Gyo-O. You can find his food blog here: Paradise By The Oven Light.
Gyo-O is located on Cambie at Sexsmith in Continental Centre. We noticed that its closed every second Wednesday. Kiely raised a very good point: how do we know if its a second Wednesday? Also, it’s good to know that they are “Cash Only”, one of my least favourite things about Richmond. I hate cash because its dirty. Plus, cash back credit cards? I’m not going to say no! Gyo-O is part of the Gyoza King Group. Their original location, Gyoza King, is on Robson. They also own G-Men / Ramen Izakaya @ NanChuu 南廚 which used to be two separate restaurants in Richmond. And as well as Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar (which I’ve never heard of… but give me a break, noob food blogger here okay?).
We arrived around 2 pm and waited for about 15 minutes before we were seated. The table was sticky.
The interior is absolutely gorgeous! I loved it so much. The walls are decorated with wooden planks with Japanese characters.
I ordered the Deepfried Chicken Bukkake Udon with Egg ($10.75). Its described as “Deepfried Chicken with Halh Boiled on Dry Udon”. The menu advised us: “Instead of dipping udon noodles in the sauce, it is served with sauce on the side to pour on the udon. Mix it together with our special dressing and poached egg. Since it isn’t served in soup, you are able to enjoy and indulge the original texture and flavor of our udon noodles. In Japan, people eat it cold in summer to survive the Japanese hot summer and they eat it hot during winter”.
This was a fun dish because it was interactive, in the sense that I had to do some preparations of my own by pouring in the sauce and mixing it in with the udon. Unfortunately, I found the special dressing to be too salty.
After mixing it, I was able to taste the original texture of the udon noodles, as promised by the menu. The udon noodles here were very chewy and slippery. I’m not sure if its because I’m biased and prefer udon noodles over other types of noodles or if it was good. The half boiled (aka poached, which by the way, was poached perfectly) egg made the liquid special dressing into a thick broth. However, ultimately I did find it to be salty and that took away from the dish. The flavour was one-dimensional otherwise, which is something I typically like about udon soups.
The chicken was delicious. It came with six pieces. The kara-age did become soggy with the broth but it went well together and I liked it.
Kiely ordered the Seafood Yukke Don ($10.75) (aka Kaisen Yukke Don). This is their most popular dish. Its “Chopped Tuna, Salmon, Squid, Prawn, Fishcake, Tako wasabi in marinated Sweet Soy sauce with Half Boiled Egg on Rice”. I’ve tried this on a previous visit and I can understand why its their most popular dish. Its meant to be mixed together (once you do mix it together, it does not look as appetizing) but it is absolutely amazing! Food heaven in a bowl. Kiely typically does not enjoy raw fish but he was okay with it in this dish as it was diced into small pieces and its fishiness was masked with the heavy marinade. He found it very fresh and enjoyed it very much.
In conclusion, we love Gyo-O! I definitely find myself craving Gyo-O but my mother (whom I dine with most frequently) prefers their sister, G-Men / Ramen Izakaya @ NanChuu 南廚. But I’m coming back!