Vancouver has brunch down to an art form, but there’s always room for inventive new spins on midday weekend eats. One of the city’s newest brunch options right now is a playful set of dishes on offer at downtown’s Gyoza Bar, where the ramen-centric restaurant has merged elements of brunch fare with crave-worthy Japanese eats.
Gyoza Bar’s brunch kicks off at noon on Saturdays and Sundays, and is available until 3 pm. The restaurant is putting a clever spin on decadent eggy dishes by pairing them up with some of their top-selling items, so you’ll find a Pulled Pork Bao Benny that features their signature bao bun toasted and decked out with piles of tender, savoury pork, jalapeño, poached eggs, and drizzled with a maple miso Hollandaise.
You won’t find any French Toast or stacks of pancakes on this menu, but you will want to check out the Okonomiyaki + Chicken Karaage. A savoury Japanese pancake comes in a skillet and is teamed up with their succulent fried chicken pieces. While this might be their riff on something like chicken and waffles, if Gyoza Bar did make a waffle and piled it with this chicken and added eggs–whoa, baby, that would be wicked. Luckily the okonomiyaki is fluffy and mildly sweet, and gives a nice contrast to the crunch of the chicken and the tang of the slaw on the side.
And then there’s the Bacon and Eggs Ramen, which is from their “Brunch Noodles” menu. The broth is studded with bacon bits, and it’s light enough to balance out the richness of the egg yolk and the smokiness of the bacon, with a nice pop of bite from green onion and sweetness from corn kernels. If you can’t handle your bacon and eggs in a bowl of noodle soup, know that Gyoza Bar still has some traditional ramen options available on the brunch menu, as well as smaller portions available as sides.
In addition to the food, Gyoza Bar has a couple of brunch cocktails as well as kombucha available for thirst-quenching. Sweet bites include ice cream filled mochi bites in green tea or black sesame. It’s a popular draw even in its first couple of weeks up and running, so you may want to book a table or take your chances to score a table in the buzzy room.
Gyoza Bar is located at 622 West Pender Street. Brunch is served weekends from noon to 3 pm.