At first glance, Japanese dumplings are about as far removed from a Christmas dinner as it’s possible to imagine. One is dainty, neat and technically sophisticated. The other is a mountain of multiple meats, potatoes, cursory greens and a bucket-load of gravy. If someone produced a pig in blanket in the middle of an Izakaya, serious questions would have to be asked. But, despite working as polar opposites, dumplings and roast dinner have finally been forced together.
Popular British Japanese chain Itsu, which has historically specialised in lunchtime sushi specials and miso soup, has decided to take a gamble on its winter menu by offering customers the chance to get their hands on Christmas dinner gyoza. Made with a mixture of turkey, bacon, pork and cranberry sauce, the pink parcels are like bite-sized Sunday roasts, complete with all the trimmings. It’s certainly more sophisticated than attacking a turkey with your bare hands.
Dubbed “Christmas Cracker Gyoza”, the new dumplings only weigh in at around 302 calories, helping diners get the full dinner flavour without the inevitable food coma that usually follows. Retailing for just £4.29 for a box of eight, it certainly makes a roast dinner work lunch slightly less lethargic.
Check out Tom's incredible recipe for Cheeseburger Soup Dumplings:
Though the prospect of an entire Christmas meal in one mouthful is obviously exciting, it isn’t the only seasonal special on offer at the restaurant. Multiple sources, including The Mirror and The Daily Mail report that every Itsu will be giving away an “Its’mas Cracker” as part of the holiday celebration.
Inside each of these giveaways will be a joke, a sticker, an “Its’mas hat” and a random prize, which could include anything from free dumplings to a years-worth of half-price Itsu meals. Although only one cracker will be on offer each day from now until Christmas, it certainly makes a meal at Itsu more worthwhile.