I tried Gyoco & Pesto Udon - is it weird or wonderful?


The wonderful thing about food is the fact that like people, it constantly evolves. If you look at the food scene in Singapore, 10 years ago or even a few months back, it's quite amazing how there are constantly new foods out there to try. From salted egg yolk fried chicken and waffles to maruku onion rings, my favourite type of new dishes always involves some form of fusion food. So when I heard of these two new dishes, Gyoco and Pasto Udon, I knew I had to try them.

1. Gyoco at Kyodai Singapore

"What the hell is a Gyoco?" my colleagues asked as I was recruiting people in my office to join me to try the dish. Well the clue is in the name, a Gyoco is a combination of a Gyoza and a Taco. I however, sold it as a "Japanese fusion taco" with a crispy gyoza shell. I love anything deep fried, so I was really curious as to how the crispy Gyoza shell is going to hold all of the ingredients in.

I decided to go ahead and order the beef filling for the Gyoco (the other alternative being fresh tuna) because I really wanted to compare it to a beef taco. The beef filling was decidedly very asian, the closest thing that I can compare it to will be a teppanyaki beef. It sits on a bed a nori and lettuce. Slathered on top of the beef was thick wasabi mayo sauce (my favourite) and finally finished with a sprinkling of deep fried onion bits.

Final verdict? It was definitely delicious! I love the Gyoza shell, it was light and crisp and less starchy, as compared to the taco shell. The beef however, left me wanting. I wished the slices were thicker, perhaps more like a steak kind of slices? I'm not sure if that will be practical, but it'll definitely be tastier. For it's price (somewhere around $10) the sizes were definitely too small. I was still pretty hungry when i finished the meal.

The most memorable thing about Kyodai is definitely their homemade coffee. Strong, but pleasantly light and balanced, the coffee was a perfect pairing for the meal. Shout out to the cashier, who got us ice cubes from another store because we wanted to have ice coffee instead of their regular hot one.

2. Pesto Udon at Tamoya Udon

Ever since our trip to Italy, I've developed very strong feelings towards pesto. I used to see as just another green paste, perhaps a bit bland and weird tasting. But Italy had thought me that this humble and simple sauce is an amazing addition to anything. When I was told that there's now a pesto udon (at least my first time hearing of it) I was mind blown. Both of the components, udon and pesto, are often very subtle, I wonder how it will taste as a pairing. So off we went to Tamoya Udon and gave this dish a try. Like any other udon joint, the dish comes with the basic, udon noodle, poached egg, spicy beef and the remarkable pesto sauce.

Tamoya Udon also has a wide range of fried side dishes, from deep fried mushroom to sweet potatoes. I decided to go for my all time favourite, the kakiage or deep friend vegetables. Another counter holds all of the sauces and toppings, like spring onions as well as free flow water.

Final verdict? This was incredibly delicious! If the pairing was a gamble, it definitely paid off. The creaminess of the egg yolk, paired with the pesto was a total knock out. The noodle was wonderfully light and springy and holds well against the sauce. The tonaktsu sauce and salty kakiage provides a great balance to the sweetness of the Udon.

All in all, I wish that there are more places like this one out there. Affordable fusion places, combining the best of various cultures.