Raise Your Hand If You Like Gyouza

The first time we tried gyouza was in Osaka 8 years ago. And since then, we've been hooked on this juicy, garlic-y, lightly seasoned with soy-saucy pan-fried potsticker. While you can get gyoza boiled (sui-gyouza 水餃子) or deep-fried (age-gyouza 揚げ餃子) the best way is definitely yaki-gyouza (焼き餃子) or pan-fried.
When we first got gyouza in Tokyo it was at Yamauchi Nojo 山内農場 in Ueno. We were very surprised when we received this interesting long-kind served in a pan:
What's this?
It's gyouza!

The flavor was a little different and the texture was almost there, but overall it was more like a type of gyouza rather than the kind we were used too- still a tasty experience though! We found that Tokyo has an array of gyouza, tube-shaped, thick-skinned, thin-skinned, and more. All were good, but we were on the hunt for the Osaka-style.
Gyouza lunch set somewhere in Akihabara. These were larger than normal gyouza.

If you're close to the Roppongi Station stop, there is a ramen shop we recommend. It has a very long name in Japanese and is labeled "Ramen Restaurant" on Google Maps. But, it's easy to find as I have provided the address after this paragraph (ha-ha). Visited by various famous people I can't identify (the walls are decorated with autographs), this shop sells a ramen, drinks, and, of course, gyouza. Homesick for Osaka-style gyouza, we were happy to find this place. While I had the ramen, I snuck a bite of Andrew's gyouza. Pan-fried with just the right amount of everything, we gave this gyouza a solid A+.
Address: Japan, 〒107-0052 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, 港区Roppongi, 9丁目6−23 赤坂葵マンション
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Tonkatsu ramen- Pork ramen
Totemo tabe yasui - Very easy to eat

Along the lines of great gyouza is Tiger Ken Asakusa. The staff was friendly and the place was clean, two criteria of mine I can't pass up. Not only that, but they are gyouza-making machines. Like most places, everything is made to order. I recommend sitting at the counter so you can see your food being made and feel the steam on your face for that real-life effect. There's not much more to say about Tiger Ken, so I'll keep it concise: Good portions, cold beer, great gyouza.
Address: 1-15-9 Kaminarimon, Taito 111-0034, Tokyo Prefecture
Nama biiru, always!
Ginger rice

Perfectly pan-fried

The last place we highly recommend if you're nostalgic for Osaka, is Gyouza no OHSHO Uenokoenmae. Tucked away behind a hotel a stone throw from the hustle and bustle of Ueno's main street is this teeny-tiny Ohsho. Gyouza no Ohsho is actually a chain restaurant that can now be found all over Japan. They serve many a foreigner and have menus in English as well. The restaurant is very popular, so if you're going closer to dinner time, you might have to wait in line or you can get gyouza to go from the take-out window. So if you can, go during "snack-time"- not peak meal hours- so you can take a seat. As fun as standing and eating is, it's always nice to kickback and enjoy a meal.
Kristin's inner thoughts: It's amazing because I'm ranting and raving about this one place, but I don't have a single photo from there... eat it while it's hot I guess!! ><; They also have Suntory beer, which is the best beer out there just saying. :D

Address: Japan, 〒110-0005 Tokyo, Taito, 上野2-13-1 萬寿山ビル1F
Not shaming any of these gyouza places. Actually, trying to find the one closest to our favorite was an awesome adventure and we highly recommend you do the same, whatever your preferences are. In any case, no matter where you go, make sure to order a nama biiru (draft beer), edamame (salted soybean appetizer), and, of course, gyouza!


Kristin Lagman