Gyoza in Kyoto? Look no further than Gyoza no Ohsho
Gyoza no Ohsho is a chain of Chinese restaurants with over 50 stores in Kyoto alone known for their, well, gyoza. At this point, there’s likely not a single Japanese person who hasn’t heard the name before, however, this Chinese restaurant chain actually first opened in 1967 in Kyoto’s Shijo Omiya. Since then, Gyoza no Ohsho has taken Japan by storm and is now beloved by not only those in Kyoto but the entire country. While Gyoza no Ohsho is a chain, their great flavors and quality service has led to a massive fan base and even TV spots. However, above all else, they are most certainly known nationwide for the simple fact that they serve great gyoza.
However, of course in addition to their fabulous gyoza, Gyoza no Ohsho also offers a ton of other Chinese food classics, like fried rice, sweet and sour pork and stir-fried pork. Although, it should be noted that while Gyoza no Ohsho is a “Chinese” restaurant, many of the dishes offered have evolved to be uniquely Japanese, so going here can be an interesting opportunity to experience a different side of Japanese food culture, Japanese-Chinese food.
Another aspect of Gyoza no Ohsho that should be mentioned is the fact that all their restaurants have open kitchens and make everything by hand.
The reason behind the open kitchen is to give patrons both a sense of the energy of the kitchen and to offer up freshly made, still piping hot dishes.
The reason behind having everything be handmade is that it allows the kitchen to easily tend to the needs of each customer, for example, “I want this dish to be spicier,” and serve everyone the best food possible.
This specific Gyozo no Ohsho, Nanajo Karasuma, is especially spacious and allows for a chilled out, relaxed dining experience.
In addition to the classic counter-side seats, there are also large booths that attract customers of all ages, from kids to the elderly.
From the second floor of the Nanajo Karasuma store, you can also peer out on to the tranquil Higashi Hongan-ji Temple. While Gyoza no Ohsho has a ton of stores around Kyoto, not many give you this kind of Kyoto-esque view, so if you’re looking for a nice view with some nice food, then drop by Gyoza no Ohosho Nanajo Karasuma.
Gyoza: Pan-fried Pork Dumplings
/ ￥220 (excl. tax)
As you can probably guess with a name like “Gyoza no Ohsho,” gyoza is this restaurant's signature dish. All ingredients, pork, cabbage, nira, garlic, ginger and flour, are all domestically grown. Among these, the garlic is sourced from Aomori Prefecture, which is known for growing sweeter versions of crops, and the flour is from Hokkaido, which producers especially flavorful wheat.
Fried on a specially made hot plate, the crispy, yet chewy gyoza skins contain a juicy filling that has a uniquely delicious flavor. Made fresh every day with only non-frozen, safe homegrown ingredients, the gyoza at Gyoza no Ohsho are considerate of their customers at every corner.
For those who aren’t fans of garlic, try the “Zero Garlic Ginger Gyoza” – gyoza made with double the ginger and an improved filling that fits (only available while stocks last).
With your gyoza, make sure to also try the special Gyoza no Ohsho gyoza sauce and yuzu flavored gyoza sauce. Also, if you’re looking to eat like a local, then sprinkle some pepper in vinegar and try a truly Kyoto way of enjoying gyoza!
If you liked it that much, you can also purchase the Gyoza no Ohsho yuzu flavoured gyoza sauce as well. Ask the staff at the register if you’re interested.
/ ￥450 (excl. tax)
Mapo tofu, another massively popular dish at Gyoza no Ohsho.
Using mince slow cooked in doubanjiang chili paste, this dish features a contrast of meaty umami and soft, melt in your mouth hot tofu.
The Japanese pepper adds a tingly kick that you can’t get enough of, while the thick, gloopy sauce traps in the heat and will warm you from the core.
Enjoy this dish alongside a glass of your favorite drink and a bowl of rice to enjoy the best combo.
For those who love things spicy, simply let the staff know and they’ll kick up the spice for you.
Sauteed Pork Liver & Garlic Chives
/ ￥480 (excl. tax)
One of Gyoza no Ohsho’s signature dishes, this sauteed pork liver & garlic chives uses pre-cooked liver, meaning that you don’t get any of that gamey flavor from it.
Also making sure to carefully remove the blood from the liver, the liver used in this dish is genuinely really good and perfect for those who still aren’t quite there with organ meats yet. The juicy liver that’s been quickly fried at high heat also contrasts amazingly with the crunchy texture of the nira, sprouts and other veggies.
Like the mapo tofu, this dish also goes perfectly with a drink and side of rice.
Clay Pot Mapo Tofu w/ Poached Egg over Rice
/ ￥680 (excl. tax)
Exclusive to the Gyoza no Ohsho Nanajo Karasuma store, this dish features a soft boiled egg and mapo tofu atop a bed of warm rice.
Also, coming served in a piping hot clay pot, this dish doesn’t pull any punches in the looks department either.
The rich, creamy flavors of the egg yolk paired with the spicy kick of the Japanese pepper of the mapo tofu make this dish irresistibly good. However, since it’s paired with an egg, this dish is a little on the milder side compared to the regular mapo tofu.
Since this dish does sit on a bed of rice, it’s quite filling, so if you want to try a few different things, then we recommend sharing it among two or three people.