Sunday, February 15, 2009

Heart-day recap

As you might have guessed by the name of my blog, I LOVE gyozas!
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I'd been wanting to check out a place in Tachikawa, alternatingly nicknamed Gyoza Heaven and Communist Gyoza by the Americans around here, for a long time. After many glowing reviews by O's co-workers (for some reason, he doesn't trust my judgement at all!) O finally agreed to take me there for dinner on Valentine's Day. Gyoza Heaven definitely lived up to it's name! Although it's actual name is Gyoza 1059, it was total gyoza heaven!!!!! I think the Communist name comes in part from the oddly strict rules this place has. Among them: there's a one-drink minimum per person, if you don't order a drink, they add Y315 to your bill (this isn't a club or bar, it's just a regular little restaurant!), they do not prepare take-out and you're not allowed to take any leftover food home with you! But I'd gladly follow a whole book of stupid rules for absolute oishiiiiiii-ness this place churns out!
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Otis and I left the house around 5p on Saturday evening, we parked at the train station and took the train 2 stops to Tamagawajosui, where the train and mono-rail share the same station. I love the mono-rail, you get to see the city from a whole different perspective, gliding along 2 stories above the street, and the mono-rail goes through different parts of the city than the train, it's a really great change of pace, and scenery. This was Otis' first time on the mono-rail, he enjoyed as much as I always do.
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O waiting for the mono-rail
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We were in Tachikawa by 5:45, we had planned to wander around the station for a while, there are 3 huge malls in Tachikawa station, but in anticipation of stuffing myself to the brim at dinner, I hadn't eaten since b'fast, so I was starving! We headed straight for the restaurant, we had a map from the tour office on base and had no trouble finding it about 4 blocks up the street.
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We'd never been to Gyoza 1059 before, but had heard really good things about it. As with all great restaurants, it was a totally unremarkable, hole-in-the-wall kind of place! The kind of place you could pass 1,000 times without even noticing it.

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There was a line forming as we left

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There was a counter right at the grill that sat 5 people, then only 3 other big tables, and a small private area towards the back that could be reserved for bigger parties. Because there were only 3 big tables, if you come with a small group of only 2 - 3 people, you have to share a table with other people when it's crowded, which it was on Saturday. We shared a table with a very nice family:, Mom, Dad and their adult daughter.

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Looking towards the kitchen from our table.

The door is on the left, just out of frame, next to the long, black sign. There was another table out of the shot to the right and the private table was directly behind me.

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O purusing the menu

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This place serves gyoza. And alcohol. That's it. Nothing else. And that's all they need! Among the choices of gyoza: squid, cheese, garlic, chicken, shrimp, octopus (in winter only) and leek. On recommendations from friends, we ordered the cheese and the shrimp gyozas. You get 5 gyozas in the flavor of your choice for anywhere from Y735 - Y950 per plate. There was a warning on the menu that take-outs and doggie bags were not permitted, so we took that as a sign that the portions would be big. Boy, were they ever! The cheese gyozas were absolutely divine! Ridiculously delicious! All the gyozas come stuffed with the usual gyoza meat, I'm guessing ground pork? The cheese ones also had a huge, melt-y glob of cheese (it was white, that's all I know) right in the middle. And the shrimp ones were a mixture of gyoza meet and 5 - 6 nicely sized shrimp. These were, without a doubt, the hugest gyoza I'd ever seen! They were so huge, I could only eat 2 cheese and 1 shrimp. O managed to pack away 2 cheese, 2 shrimp, and we were both so completely packed full, we had to leave the last 3 behind!
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I put my hand in the shot so you could see just how big these gyozas were!
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I had a sinfully delicious glass of umeshu rokku (plum liqueur on the rocks), it's one of my newest loves.

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After dinner, we rolled ourselves back up the street towards the station. Since Otis has only been to Tachikawa ONCE, he's never seen any of the malls or shops, so we walked around for quite awhile, so I could show him some of my favorite places.
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We got back around 8:30p. We'd ordered Pizza Hut for the kids before we left, so they were fed and Gabi had gotten everyone in their jammies by the time we got home. We had a really nice evening, I'm always so happy when I manage to drag O off the base, and he ends up enjoying himself (for some reason, he's always sure he's going to hate whatever we do, even though he never does!)


Oh, and O gave me a single, long stemmed rose, a sweet, sweet card and some chocolates, the kids gave me a cute card and some candy.

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3 comments:

gigihawaii said...

That's so sweet! (the rose and chocs). Hubby and I will celebrate Valentine's Day on Sunday, because Sergio's had just outside seating for Saturday night. I always associate Italian cuisine with romance, so am looking forward to a feast.

We spent just 3 nights and 1 day in Tokyo last June. So much more to see, judging from your blog. Now, David and I need to visit the Sanoya Ramen shop in Honolulu to order gyoza, too!

Robin Vistnes said...

Buen!

Slime said...

Gigi - I love eating outside, we had lots of favorite places in FL that had outside dining, but very few here in Japan. Mostly it's just little cafes that have a few table outside :( Hope you had a very romantic evening ;)

R - grazzin'