[Tokyo] Luck shone on me as I waited only slightly less than 10 minutes to get into Harajuku Gyozaro (or Harajuku Gyoza Lou), probably one of Tokyo’s best gyoza eateries.
On an ordinary day, be expected to be in queue between a few minutes to an hour for your dumpling feast. (While you are there, Luke’s Lobster Bar is just a minute away.)
Actually, there wasn’t really anyone to control the line that was it, so we were a group of confused tourists just crowding near the door.
A female tourist opened to the door to ask, and a hand signal from the cashier told her to close the door and WAT. “I am after him, okay?”
We entered. No frills at all. The server passed a tattered piece of menu, and the choice was really that simple.
There are just two styles of gyoza dumplings available – Fried or Steamed, at 290 Yen for six of them. That works out to be SGD3.60 or USD2.70.
Affordable by Tokyo standards.
Most of the diners sat around the rectangular-shaped counter with the ‘kitchen’ in the middle, where the cooks would prepare the dumplings in clock-work fashion – fry, steam, pan-fried, scoop, serve.
I didn’t notice any timers (maybe I missed it), how did they get the timing accurate? Maybe it is experience.
The moment of truth as I shoved the first into my mouth, sans the sauces. Best to eat these babies original.
The Gyozas were fantastic – delightfully thin and just a thin layer of crisp. As you bite your way through, the juice from the pork fillings would burst in your mouth, savoury-sweet and fresh. So good you won’t even need any additional sauces to complement.
In another trip, I had the Steamed version, and thought they couldn’t be missed as well. The slippery skins worked with the moist fillings. Add a dash of vinegar with soy and chilli oil for those added flavours.
Are these the best around? I am not quite sure.
Are these delicious? Certainly, yes, very. I wished the gyozas were plumper though, but that is personal preference.
The Beansprouts (250 Yen, SGD$3.10) are another to-order. With a special meat sauce, this was like jajangmyeon / zha jiang mian without the noodles, and made a light refreshing starter with beansprouts.
This is probably the kind of eatery where you can order every single food item in the menu to go with drinks. If I have any regret, it would be because… “Why didn’t I order more?”
Harajuku Gyoza Lou
Location: 6−2−4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (Meiji-Jingumae Station, Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)
神宮前6-2-4 Shibuya, 東京都 〒150-0001
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 4:30am (Mon – Sat), 1130am – 10pm (Sun)
Google Maps – Harajuku Gyoza Lou