I am a big fan of gyoza, those crescent-shaped pan-fried Japanese dumplings, and would be happy to make a meal of them, if I could manage to do so without seeming like a glutton.
Guillaume Guedj and Shinichi Sato have solved this dilemma with the newly opened Gyoza Bar located a few doors down from Passage 53, the restaurant which earned them two Michelin stars, in the beautiful Passage Panorama.
The space felt more like New York than Paris with hushed zen surroundings, counter seating and an open kitchen–if you could call it a kitchen since there’s not much cooking going on.
There are 3 menu items–rice, sesame marinated bean sprouts and a choice of either 8 or 12 gyoza. The dumplings, made with ground pork loin from star butcher Hugo Desnoyer, are grilled to order in one of 4 cast-iron dumpling pans. The pan is oiled, in go the dumplings, a little water is added, and the whole thing is sealed for 7-8 minutes. The result is a heavenly dumpling that’s crisp on one side and steamed on the other. A bright ponzu sauce, this one made with soy, grapefruit and orange, comes on the side for dipping. Wash it all down with a Yebisu or Kirin beer and you have luxury fast-food at its best.
Dumpling lovers who want a no-frills, less chic version can head to Belleville where you’ll find Ravioli Chinois Nord-est, a nondescript storefront with a handful of tables serving 11 different types of hand-made Jiaozi, the Chinese name for these deliciously addictive pork-filled dumplings. At Ravioli Chinois, the jiaozi are either steamed or pan-fried and filled with a range of ingredients from a traditional pork, shrimp and chive mixture to the more exotic pork and pumpkin. The prices are ridiculously cheap-4 Euros for ten dumplings–which means you can easily have a full meal for less than ten euros.
56 Passage des Panoramas
Paris, 2nd; Métro: Grand Boulevard
8 gyoza for 6 €, 12 for 8 €
Open 18h-23h, closed Sundays (they hope to serve lunch soon)
Ravioli Chinois Nord-est
11 rue Civiale, Paris 10th; Métro: Belleville