Excuse me while I drool into my keyboard. The only words I have for these dumplings are ‘holy moly’, ‘YES’ and ‘get in my gob right now’. Every Saturday from 9am sharp you’ll find Ayumi, the creative genius behind Yum Yum Gyoza (and the YYG counter) at the Riccarton House Farmers’ Market. Not only are Ayumi’s Gyoza (Japanese for dumpling) lovingly handmade with fresh and local ingredients, they’re absolutely.salivatingly.delicious.
Whoever invented the phrase “good things come in small packages” must have had a belly full of these dumplings because; boy does the saying apply! Who knew such a small parcel could hold such intense flavour?! In fact, Ayumi’s dumplings are intentionally shaped like a gift (how utterly adorable is that?!). Today, I tried the three-mushroom gyoza, consisting of Portbello, Button, Shiitake and a traditional Japanese herb called Shiso. Delicious, is an understatement.
What makes Yum Yum Gyoza so special is their authentic approach. Take the chilli powder for example, it’s called nanami togarashi. Nana translates to seven in Japanese and this chili powder consists of seven different spices: chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame seed, seaweed, white sesame seed, Japanese pepper and ginger. What.a.taste.explosion!
Honestly, I have tried dumplings everywhere in Christchurch, (remember, I had a Chinese boyfriend) and these dumplings are by far the best. They’re fresh, tasty and the perfect balance of dough and filling. In addition, Yum Yum Gyoza cater for vegetarians! Again, very rare in the dumpling world of Christchurch.
So, if you’re after the full Japanese experience, (including the most kawaii, friendly and hospitable hostess with the sweetest smile) run, don’t walk to the Farmers’ Market (not now, on Saturday).