This weekend, my friend Naoko and her family took us on a little field trip to Tachikawa. Tachikawa is the town a few train stops away from where we live in Fussa. Naoko helped us buy our new Suica cards to use on the rail systems.
Tachikawa is only about a 16 minute train ride from Yokota AB and the Fussa Train Station. However, the Tachikawa train station is pretty awesome. Like many Japanese train stations, they have built a little shopping mall in the station. One store had 8 floors of shopping bliss. Wow!
We window shopped for a few hours and then went off to our main destination... dinner. And not any dinner, but giant gyoza dinner. The restaurant the serves these giant gyozas goes by several different names. Many people call it "Communist Gyoza" because of the very specific rules of the chef (i.e. you are only allowed to order gyoza once, if you want to order more, you are denied.) Other names are "Gyoza Heaven" or "New Gyoza 1059" (this one is actually on the door).
For continuity's sake, I will call the restaurant by its more popular name, Communist Gyoza or CG. See CG is a pretty small restaurant, some counter seatings, 4 or 5 tables, and a back room that can sit larger parties of about 10.
The menu is also very small and simple. Basically, you can order gyoza or gyoza.
Our group consisted of 4 adults and 3 kids. We didn't know exactly how big the gyozas would be, so we started by ordering 8 plates of different gyozas. That is until the waitress came back and recommended we not order so much. So we switched it to 6 plates.
Now before I continue, maybe some of you are wondering what gyoza is? Gyoza is basically a Japanese dumpling or pot-sticker. It is usually filled with ground pork and cabbage and seasonings. They are about the size of a little smokey (approximately 1 inch wide, 2 inches long, with maybe 1 ounce of meat filling).
The gyoza's here were about 3 times that size. They were the equivalent of 2 to 3 meatballs covered in gyoza wrapper, and if there were any cabbage or vegetables in that thing, then I believe the pork swallowed it. Here is our order of 6 plates.
Here is a close up of the goods. Beer and Gyoza. Dinner of Champions.
Now, the close up may not give you an accurate account of the size of these things, so let Doug and "A" give you a reference point to their massiveness. If you've eaten regular gyoza, you will appreciate the size of these monstrosities. Each plate contained a few pounds of gyoza.
What types of gyoza did we order, you ask? Well, we ordered a crab gyoza... YUMMY!
Scallop Gyoza... Pretty Good.
Shrimp Gyoza... Holy Deliciosness!
We also ordered a pork gyoza which was redundant since it was pork with more pork. And Doug and Tim ordered a Potato Gyoza that Naoko and I thought was horrible. It was a gyoza filled with pork and mashed potato. No me gusta. I forget what the sixth plate was, it may have been another pork gyoza.
So we ate and the kids ate and we ate some more. I think they are gyoza drunk.
Well we managed to finish all six plates, to the horror of the restaurant's chefs. So much so, that they broke their own rule and asked if we would like to order more. Oh goodness, No Thank you! It was delicious but no more. Here's the aftermath of our gluttony.
We left there beyond stuffed. I liked it, maybe not enough to rush back every few weeks, but I'd definitely go again. Naoko thought it was too heavy on the meat. Of course, she's a chef that makes awesome light and flavorful gyozas. You can see how she makes gyozas in my February 2012 blog.
Anyways, I digress, like I said I would definitely go back one day. Hopefully, we will be able to find the restaurant. It's not exactly easily marked as you can tell by the picture I took of it's exterior. Yeah, that doesn't look like every other building in every other town in Japan.
Well, it's a good thing I pinned it on my phone. Hopefully, I will be able to find it the next time I head to Tachikawa for dinner. If not, Monster Gyoza at Communist Gyoza will be but a distant memory. Until our next delicious adventure!!!