Fairly new to the block, Zagyoza, residing along Vulture Street across the road from The End bar, opened its doors around six months ago.
Offering traditional Japanese gyoza, which, for those who don’t know, is like a dumpling typically filled with pork, simultaneously steamed and pan-fried. The end result is a neat little pocket of flavour, crispy on the bottom and juicy on the inside. However, Zagyoza has put a spin on this, offering a great variety of fillings that have even converted Japanese die-hard purists.
Owner, Yachiyo Lauks, explained the reason behind breaking away from the age-old Japanese street food classic was because of the people of West End. With many vegetarians and vegans in the local area, Zagyoza wanted to create a menu that accommodated their needs and desires. “We like to accommodate to people’s different needs,” Yachiyo proudly told me. As a result, a great deal of work and experimentation has gone on to deliver a number of vegetarian and vegan options, which include pumpkin and feta, tofu carrot, chickpea lentil and blackbean fillings. “[Blackbean vegan] is the most popular in the vegan range,” Yachiyo explained; detailing how the vegan favourite is intricately made up of 13 different components, all wrapped up in single bite-sized packages.
Ultimately, this experimentation in flavours and fillings has truly delivered. Whilst only being open for just over six months, Zagyoza has already made a big splash, being voted as one of the top ten Brisbane dumpling restaurants by Fairfax Media. Although a big emphasis has been put on the flavours, the health factor hasn’t been compromised. “I want to supply something very healthy, so people can eat out and healthily,” Yuchiyo said matter-of-factly. Honest by nature, and honest by flavour, this is what Zagyoza stands for.
While the multitude of gyoza varieties make up the majority of the menu, there are other food choices available, spanning across a number of global cuisines. These are really exhibited through the $10 lunch specials, alternating each day. These specials are posted on Facebook, injecting some fun and mystery into the continually changing menu, constantly leaving you guessing and surprised.
On an end note, Zagyoza has also joined forces with The End for a Monday night cheap gyoza and cheap Asahi deal ($5 gyoza/$5 Asahi), all served at The End. While on Thursday to Saturday evenings, they also have a tapas offer, serving the likes of chicken wings, gyoza and chips to accompany your cocktail, beer, spirit or wine.