Walking through the maze-like laneways of Nakano Broadway can work up quite an appetite, and deciding where to eat can be a bit daunting. Gyoza No Ohsho serves up Chinese food that’s delicious and cheap—and right in the middle of the action.
This low-key restaurant looks and feels much more like a family-run business than your average chain. The eatery offers mostly bar seating, where you can watch chefs meticulously mold and perfect the restaurant’s famed gyoza.
The menu has a few standout items, and if you’re unsure, just take a peek at what the locals are ordering. The gyoza (¥240 for six pieces) are a must-have. They’re freshly made in-house, and upon tasting the delicate parcels, the difference between handmade and mass-produced becomes apparent. These gyoza are extremely thin-skinned and deliciously juicy on the inside—and when dunked in the shop’s delicately balanced mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, they’re perfection!
Another popular dish is the niraniku itame (sautéed pork liver and leek, ¥480). Pork liver is easy to overcook, and often ends up tough and dry—but Ohsho delivers it soft and tender every time. The leek and bean sprouts give the dish a freshness and crunch that eliminate the oft-overwhelming oiliness of Chinese cuisine.
The mapo-dōfu (bean curd with minced meat and chili sauce, ¥500) is deliciously balanced between the delicately soft, slightly sweet tofu and the faintly sour mapo sauce. The chili sauce could be stronger, but as the dish is adapted to local tastes, the heat downgrade is forgivable.
No visit to this Chinese restaurant would be complete without its signature fried rice: the tenshindon (fried egg and crab-topped fried rice in a soy-based sauce, ¥480) is packed with flavor. The rice is seasoned perfectly and less oily than traditional varieties; instead, it’s moist and well-complemented by the sauce. The fried egg on top is a delicious addition that transforms the conventional side dish into a meal that can stand on its own.
It’s easy to mistake the humble-looking Nakano restaurant for a traditional, family-run business that’s been in the area for generations—but this is just one of 600 Gyoza No Ohsho restaurants nationwide.
5-56-12 Nakano, Nakano-ku. Nearest station: Nakano. www.ohsho.co.jp