(This feature was published in Spot.ph last July 26, 2018)
From the bright neon lights to the accent walls with subdued hues of pink and purple, not to mention the medieval-style chandelier, you’ll immediately know that this isn’t your average Japanese restaurant–bamboo accents, red lanterns and all.
The vibe at the newly opened and rebranded Chao Chao Gyoza Bar is more like a lounge than a regular restaurant; there’s even a small area where diners can sit on the floor, Japanese-style. At one end of the place is an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs make dumplings by hand, while there are also a lot of conversation pieces spread all over the place, such as the stone sculptures of monkeys and lions. But perhaps the most prominent is a psychedelic mural made by Japanese artist Yasuko Sensyu.
Chao Chao Gyoza Bar’s eccentric new appearance veers far from the traditional looking original branch in Manila and outposts in Osaka, but the food is basically the same. According to General Manager Masahiro Urabe, they wanted to focus on gyoza because in Japanese culture, it’s common for people to eat and drink at the same time. “Gyoza really tastes good with beer,” he says.
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