Harajuku Gyoza is a happy place. When you step in, you are greeted by chirpy Japanese waitresses and music similar to those you hear on a Nintendo game set. The restaurant’s mascot, a smiling gyoza emphasizes the point. I came here on a Sunday afternoon and was pleased to be seated immediately. No queue! Usually, the place is packed with people at night.
I order some green tea, 2 types of gyozas, eggplant tempura and cucumber miso salad. While waiting, I concocted my dipping sauce from the bottles of soy, vinegar and chili oil available. I think Harajuku’s recommendation is 2 parts soy, 1 part vinegar and 1 part chili oil. I prefer 2 parts vinegar with 1 part soy instead, and a generous amount of chili oil to add some kick. The salad is quite meh, the miso sauce was more like a sweet soy sauce. I won’t order it again. The eggplant tempura was surprisingly good, and such a huge portion! Then came the gyozas, of which I ordered pork and crayfish fillings. The pork gyoza was spot on, with juicy pork fillings in thin dumpling skin and pan fried till perfection. However, the crayfish gyoza was slightly mushy. Argh. The dessert gyozas looked pretty interesting but I was stuffed to the brim. Will come back the next time to try those.