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Hello, I'm Cliff Anderson, a resident of Singapore and a diluted 'ang moh'! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

JPN: Gyoza no Ohsho (餃子の王将)

Japanese style mapo tofu ramen and 'Tianjin rice'!

I've always been curious of the perception of Chinese cuisine in Japan. When I went to the Chinatown in Yokohama back in June last year, I was impressed by the number of Chinese eateries (and the price tags of each dish), but I didn't try any. In January this year, I dropped by one of the Gyoza no Ohsho, a huge chain primarily known for its gyoza (Japanese dumpling of minced pork and vegetables), branches near Pontocho, Kyoto.


It seems like mapo tofu (Chinese dish of tofu in chili and bean-based sauce) can be spotted in most Chinese eateries in Japan, though the one that I tried was part of a limited edition set. Oh, actually I didn't try their gyoza at all. :P


Egg Soup (玉子スープ) ¥262 (~S$3.25)
Taste: 6/10

The soup was edible, but kinda dull as there were only eggs (thankfully the amount wasn't bad at all) and seaweed inside. Also, it was a tad too salty. 


Fried Squid (真いか唐揚) ¥399 (~S$4.90)
Taste: 8.5/10

The squid was battered and fried to golden perfection. Without being unpleasantly chewy, it was adequately seasoned with salt, made refreshing with lemon juice.


Beef Innards Ramen (ホルモンメン) ¥550 (~S$6.80)
Taste: 7.5/10

The soupy ramen had beef intestines without any repulsive smell. While it tasted pretty good, I found that the noodle wasn't as chewy as I'd like it to be. Also, the vegetables could be fresher.


Mapo Ramen Set ¥850 (~S$10.50)
Mapo Ramen (甘辛ポラメン) - Taste: 7.5/10
Fried Rice (めし) - Taste: 8.5/10

The offer of this particular set ended on 31 January, but I'd still like to have a say on it. The ramen undoubtedly had lots of smooth tofu, but the gravy wasn't quite exciting for me as it was neither delectably sweet nor gratifyingly spicy. On the other hand, the fried rice which had fluffy rice grains was well-executed. It was really close, if not equal, to the original Chinese fried rice.


Chili Shrimp and Egg Rice Set ¥924 (~S$11.40)
Chili Shrimp and Egg Rice (エビチリ天津飯)Taste: 8/10
Soy Sauce Ramen (醤油ラーメン)Taste: 7.5/10

Tenshinhan (天津飯) is a Chinese-Japanese cuisine named after the city of Tianjin China, usually consisting of omelette with crab meat on top of rice. The one that I tried replaced crab meat with a few shrimps which were really succulent. While the egg was pretty fluffy, the sauce was weak, for it was lacking in sweetness and spiciness. The soy sauce ramen was pretty average with a slice of adequately fatty chashu (Japanese sliced pork belly).

Melon's Rating
Taste: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Pika's advice: You may want to try something more of zi char food (a la carte Chinese dishes to go with steamed rice), such as sweet and sour pork, but to give one example. To end this review, I'd like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Takayuki Ohigashi, the president of the company who was shot to death in front of the headquarters in Kyoto on 19 December 2013.

Gyoza no Ohsho
(餃子の王将)

317 Bizenjima-cho
Nakagyo, Kyoto
Japan
(Sun-Fri: 11.00am - 12 midnight; Sat: 11.00am - 1.00am)


*Prices quoted are nett prices.

Have a nice meal,
Cliff(y)

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