Tokyo is a city of neighborhoods. Asking google “what’s the best thing to do in Tokyo?” Will give you a wildly useless list of things and places that are no where near each other. In the time I’ve lived here I’ve learned that a much better question to pose to google is “What’s the best thing to do in (insert area name).” This will get you much more realistic results, something that can be done in a single day. This is why I am talking about Gyoza in Shinjuku San Chome and not gyoza in general. So, without further ado…
Where to get Gyoza in Shinjuku San Chome
Cheering for San Chome
Shinjuku San Chome is a bar hopping heaven.
Shinjuku San Chome is one of my absolute favorite places to visit on a Friday or Saturday night. It will be busy on the weeknights with international tourists as well but the weekend is when it really shines. There are bars and eateries everywhere, Thai, Italian, French, Mexican and then all imaginable sub categories of Japanese food. If I may make on recommendation for an evening of bar hopping in Shinjuku San Chome it would be to grab a beer or chuhi from the convenience store and drink it while walking around. Keep an eye out for somewhere you might like and once you’ve finished your roadie choose a bar and hop on in to start exploring.
Some Gyoza to keep the party going
Welcome to Kowloon Chinese restaurant in Shinjuku San Chome. As you bar hop you’re likely to get hungry. There are a million places to choose from and they are all distinctly Japanese. Even if they are serving Italian food, in San Chome, it is all distinctly Japanese. One of my absolute favorite foods in Japan is gyoza. This is a perfect snack after a long night of bar hopping. Hell, order enough and it’s a perfect meal.
Not only does Kowloon serve up some of the best gyoza around, it’s serving up old school Tokyo Chinese restaurant atmosphere for days. You’ll feel like you’re on a movie set.
The menu is in Japanese but it’s got plenty of pictures. They also have an English menu floating around somewhere but you may have to wait for someone to finish using it. Everything here is delicious but first things first, order the “Yaki gyoza”. This means fried gyoza, as opposed to steamed or boiled.
I have a theory that the amount of grime on the walls is directly related to how good the food is. Now, gyoza takes a few minutes as they need to fry them so here is my advice for nibbles until they arrive.
Aozasai and kansu! Two things that you many never see again after this trip, so enjoy it. The one on the left is a root vegetable that is pickled and spiced with a bit of chili. It’s awesome with an ice cold beer. The thing that looks like noodles BUT ISN’T is actually tofu in it’s most brilliant form! Shaped into chewy noodles, this tofu is doused in sesame oil and mixed with coriander and thin slices of ham. It is so simple and so good.
They’re here! Once you’re done having your mind blown by tofu noodles get ready for an all out assault on your taste buds.
Stuffed with minced pork, hakusai (white cabbage) garlic and ancient secrets, these little flavor bombs are going to make you rethink your list of foods that go perfectly with beer. Move over chicken wings.
Perfectly fried on the bottom and steamed on the top, these little guys are going to make your entire trip to Tokyo worthwhile. They are served with a dipping sauce to amp up the flavor. These little guys will have you ready for more bar hopping in no time. You’ll just smell a little more like garlic.
If you’re still hungry I recommend the “ebi chili”. This is shrimp served in a sweet chili sauce over cabbage and cucumber. Very good and a very common dish at Chinese restaurants in Japan.
If you’re a fellow Tokyo resident I would love to know if you have any suggestions for Shinjuku San Chome! There is so much to eat there I don’t even know where to begin!