Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Harajuku Gyoza House - Tokyo

This is a well-known place in Tokyo for gyoza and I can see why. They focus on doing one thing and doing it well. Even at 11pm there was a queue to get in, but it was worth the wait.

They sport a rectangular bar built around an open kitchen. You can sit up close to watch your gyoza being made. These two pots are used to make the steamed version. Gyoza have been described variously as pot-stickers, dumplings and even a cross between "pierogi and an egg roll", which doesn't conjure up much for me. They're Chinese in origin according to Wikipedia, the Japanese version tend to have thinner dough skins and more garlic.

I found myself staring a the fry station. I'd ordered mine fried and was interested to see how it was done. The young chef placed the gyoza face-up in the fryer and doused them with oil from a squeeze-bottle before clamping the lid down tightly. After a short spell, he released the lid and quickly stood back as a mushroom cloud of steam burst skyward and rippled along the ceiling. He then jumped in with his spatula and scooped them onto a plate in one deft motion. As a final step, he flooded the pan with cold water from a built-in tap and then lifted the front of the pan to a 90 degree angle until the water emptied entirely to a waiting drain.
While watching I munched on some sprouts with pork sauce.

There they are, hot off the press! They had amazingly thin skins, which practically disappeared when you chewed them, revealing the pork and garlic within. I really enjoyed these and only after eating a few did I start using the chili-vinegar sauce shown on the first picture.

Here's the name of the shop - which Pingles translated as "Harajuku Gyoza House" - if anyone has a different translation, let me know.

6-2-4 Jingumae

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  1. Definitely the best gyoza house in Tokyo.. soft and crispy on the outside at the same time.. and juicy on the inside. Ooo.. yumz!

  2. It's such a great place ! Wish I could eat there NOW...

  3. @Fred - You can say that again!! I love this place too. I wish I could snap my fingers and instantly be there at the bar waiting for my gyoza to be delivered.