It’s a bright Sunday morning and I’m heading down to the Harbourside market to see Guy & Vic, the duo behind Eatchu. If you don’t know, they’re a handmade Japanese gyoza pop-up whom you’ll find at markets and festivals in Bristol and the South West. It’s a foodie gem you should try if you haven’t already.
Eatchu has only been going for 3 months and its popularity is quite remarkable considering how popular it already is! So how did it all start? Well, Guy & Vic met in London and moved to Australia in 2011 to work in mining. They came back to set up Eatchu in Bristol having always wanted to run a business together.
It was Guy’s father who suggested they start a business in food. With a passion like theirs for food, it had to happen! A Japanese influence already prevailed in their cooking so they decided gyoza would be their focus.
The thing I find amazing is that neither Guy or Vic are trained chefs. They simply have a passion for creating delicious and well-made food and it really shows.
I asked them about their inspiration and more importantly, how they make their gyoza so damn good! Obviously, they wouldn’t give me their secret recipe BUT they did tell me about their Japanese cooking lessons in Australia. That’s where they learnt everything you need to know about gyoza. They also travelled to Tokyo where one particular restaurant solely serving gyoza inspired them. They both noticed that this restaurant did one thing, and did it very well, which seems to be a common theme in Streetfood and something they took as inspiration.
Guy and Vic also travelled to Utsunomiya in Japan. If you didn’t know, Utsunomiya is the capital of gyoza (this sounds like my dream). Out there, you’ll find gyoza statues and gyoza mascots across each and every town. And if that weren’t enough, they also host competitions to decide who’s got the cutest mascot. I love this!
I wanted to find out why Guy & Vic had chosen Bristol in particular, Guy had been here as a student but hadn’t been back for a while. Their friends Ed and Laura of The Plumed Serpent Cantina already had a successful food business here and helped them out with setting up and info on the Bristol foodie scene.
Guy & Vic spoke about how there is so much variety and different things going on in Bristol, perfect for a business like theirs. Bristol loves independents and has a fantastic foodie support network.
It’s clear to see Guy & Vic are extremely passionate about what they do. On my arrival at 11am, they are already set up and gyoza ready. Everything is labelled with their cute gyoza logo, and they are impeccably organised – a very smooth operation. Customers come flooding in and then coming back again to say how delicious the gyoza are. You can tell they have something really fantastic.
On top of all of this, their product is of such high quality. All of their meat is from Ruby & White butchers, their sauces are homemade – chilli oil, miso mustard mayo, seaweed sprinkle, all made at their home in Cotham. Eatchu have 3 varieties – pork, chicken and vegan (tofu, spinach and shitake mushroom), my favourite is chicken with nori butter, it is really tasty.
It’s £5 for 6 gyoza and £6.50 with rice and pickles which I think is very good considering the amount you get and the toppings (which they don’t charge extra for). They have a variety of toppings including these teeny tiny mushrooms which are super tasty. I go for all toppings personally.
Catch them at the Harbourside market on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and at Brew Dog on Baldwin Street on Thursday evenings. They also do stints at other places so keep an eye on Foozie’s What’s On page. My final question was ‘do you guys ever get a day off’, to which they reply about one day a fortnight. They both work extremely hard and put a lot of time effort into Eatchu, which really comes through from speaking to them. Luckily they are off to Italy soon, and I wish them a fantastic restful holiday.