Gyoza is a staple comfort food in Japan. While making homemade gyoza and eating it at home is enjoyable, there are people prefer to actually go out and find a gyoza specialty restaurant. However, some feel hesitant to do so as old-fashioned gyoza restaurants are notorious for being rowdy and filled with businessmen trying to de-stress after a long day of work. This, along with the strong smell of garlic that lingers after eating gyoza, has made it slightly difficult for female customers to step foot into a gyoza place. These five restaurants, however, offer a more sophisticated gyoza experience and provides alternatives to the traditional gyoza scene.
GYOZA BAR Comme a Paris, located in Aoyama, takes a Parisian twist on gyoza. This unique-looking restaurant with a neon sign up front introduces a new way of enjoying gyoza. The traditional way to enjoy gyoza is with a nice, big glass of bubbly beer, but this isn’t the case at Comme a Paris. Instead, the newest trend is having gyoza with a sip of wine.
What makes the gyoza at Comme a Paris different from other places is that both the meat and vegetable gyozas contain no garlic, making them great with wine. They also have cilantro gyoza, Japanese ginger gyoza, and onion gratin gyoza. Other than the normal gyoza menus, there are also seasonal ones available so be sure to check those out as well.
Each of their gyoza dishes comes with three different kinds of sauces: tomato, white miso & herb, and black chili oil, which is extremely unusual for normal gyoza. These three sauces go perfectly with any kind of wine or champagne of your choice.
KITCHEN TACHIKICHI has a unique assortment of gyoza. Their gyoza are made from head meat which is filled with collagen and arm meat which gives the gyoza an interesting texture.
The other unique thing available at KITCHEN TACHIKICHI is their gyoza salad. The gyoza salad is made up of basil, green perilla, and leafy greens. You can also reserve fancy individual rooms lined with wine bottles at this restaurant.
If you are looking for a modern and chic Chinese restaurant with large and filling gyoza, SANKOUEN CHINA CAFÉ&DINING is the perfect place for you! Located in Jimbocho, their large, juicy gyoza is to die for. The gyoza is mainly made from Chinese cabbage, making this dish healthy and not as oily as typical gyoza. You can also ask for the spiciness of your gyoza to be adjusted according to your liking.
Located five minutes away from Shinjuku Station, Hitokuchi Gyoza Sakaba BLG (Beer Loves Gyoza), is kind of like a chic gyoza bar. The restaurant is always filled with jazz music and fancy lighting.
You can enjoy various types of gyoza here ranging from the typical gyoza with pork, cabbage, Japanese leek, horse radish, and ginger. As its name suggests, BLG prides themselves on the types of beer they have available such as Heartland and Brau Meister. Each glass of beer costs 290 yen.
The word “hitokuchi” in Japanese means “bite-size,” so the gyoza at BLG are bite-sized, making it easy for you to try out all the various types of gyoza they have available. They have ones that are fried and served with cream cheese and a basil-based olive oil sauce.
Gyoza OHSHO is an extremely famous gyoza chain restaurant known for their traditional “down it with beer” style gyoza. In an attempt to attract more female customers and create a more modern and comfortable environment, other than the typical gyoza menus, they have started offering healthy appetizers as well as various wines, cocktails, and sours.
There are also new OHSHO locations opening around Japan both in the Kanto region and the Kansai region. If you found previous OHSHO chain stores to be a bit uncomfortable to walk into, try their revamped branches and see if their new chic appearance appeals to you!
If you are interested in trying out one of the comfort foods of Japan, check out these unique gyoza restaurants in the Tokyo area! I am sure you will find a new kind of gyoza that you will enjoy. These chic new places are perfect for gyoza lovers of any age or gender and are sure to be a treat for your taste buds.