GULLMAN – A cool and intriguing Venetian restaurant
Sitting in the shopping arcade of western Sanjo-dori, the notably cool looking GULLMAN is a Venetian restaurant specializing in pasta and pintxo.
While only recently opened at the end of 2019, the manager and owner of GULLMAN, Mori, boasts a long history of working at Italian restaurants. Using his experience, Mori takes locally sourced seasonal vegetables and whips up a mix of Venetian classics and original dishes that include everything from entrees and pasta to the northern Italian bar snack known as pintxo.
The style of GULLMAN’s food takes inspiration from both Spanish bars and Italian “bacaro” bars, which are known for their pasta and pintxo. The look and feel of GULLMAN is the result of an effort to recreate the kind of streetside bar you’d see in Venice in Japan. Staying true to real Italian bacaro, GULLMAN offers delicious food and drinks at reasonable prices in a chilled, laid back atmosphere.
Another aspect of GULLMAN that’s sure to catch your eye is its chic interior. In addition to statues of seagulls, which are the symbol of the restaurant, the interior includes a ton of other unique, wildly wonderful and out there fixtures, such as the unique brick-like tiled and blue walls reminiscent of the deep sea, an outdoor lamp that sits atop the single huge dining table and speaker system that lets out a nonstop stream of melodic tunes.
The only seats in the entire restaurant are the 10 that line either side of the big dining table. What GULLMAN lacks in space, it more than makes up for in its welcoming atmosphere and personable staff.
With great food, great service and a great atmosphere, GULLMAN has quickly garnered praise from locals, so if you find yourself near Nijo Castle or deep in the western part of Sanjo-dori, then definitely drop by!
The Chef’s Recommended Entrée Platter
/ ￥1,000 (inc. tax)
The Chef’s Recommended Entrée Platter is a platter of the day’s most recommended entrees.
Going clockwise, the platter pictured above had a Pate de Campagne; sausage and Manganji pepper, paprika, and olive pintxo; anchovies and olive potato salad pintxo; ratatouille and chicken pintxo; bacon and spinach quiche; and Nara-style pickled sake lees. The small center bowl also contained ratatouille.
Each of the delicately prepared dishes are delicious, taste distinct from one another and work well to showcase the specific qualities of their respective ingredients.
Each of the dishes in the platter can also be ordered individually, but since you’re here, you might as well get the platter and try as many different things as you can.
*Sometimes you can tell the staff your preferences and the number of pintxo you want and they’ll do their best to give you what you want.
Cheese Napolitan w/ Thick, Chewy Noodles
/ ¥1,050 (inc. tax)
This cheese “napolitan” is GULLMAN’s signature dish. Napolitan pasta is a Japanese creation of tomato sauce spaghetti. GULLMAN’s napolitan contains bacon, peppers, onions and mushrooms all in a tomato sauce base covered in a hardy sprinkle of cheese. The pasta also contains mozzarella mixed throughout, giving the tomato sauce a rich, creamy flavor.
Another aspect of this pasta that can’t be overlooked is the noodles themselves. The thick, chewy, noodles have a springiness that’s absolutely irresistible. They also hold the sauce immaculately well and give you a creamy sauce packed mouthful with every bite.
With a fantastically thick sauce and fat, chewy noodles, this pasta is a definite must-try!
Salmon and Cream Cheese Salad
/ ￥800 (inc. tax)
While salmon and cream cheese may be the stars of this salad, the lettuce, carrots and tomatoes definitely deserve mention too. The simple vinegar and oil dressing gives the fatty salmon and fresh veggies the perfectly refreshing accent that’s further backed by the sour flavors of the vinegar and cream cheese. All of this works to provide new and exciting flavors with every bite and ensures that you won’t leave behind even a single shred of lettuce in the bowl.
Ribs Marinated in a Special Sauce
/ ￥1,000 (inc. tax)
This dish comprised of three massive pieces of marinated ribs is GULLMAN’s recommended meat dish. The moment it hits your table, this dish will have your appetite running circles around itself with its delicious smells and downright delectable aroma. The special sweet and savory sauce is made from six different spices, including star anise, together with garlic in a Neopolitan sauce base. Cooked at a low boil, the sauce gives off a wonderful umami flavor and the fantastic flavors of the aromatic spices contained within.
After being marinated for three days, the ribs are first cooked at a low heat before being sautéed, working to maintain the soft, juicy texture of the meat while crisping up the outside.
This dish truly does an incredible job of trapping in the meaty umami of the ribs while giving off an unbeatably good aroma.