Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gyozas @ Ohsho - And Some GF Talk

I still get butterflies taking my newish GF out to eat. I think I mentioned before? So versatile and talented my beautiful and compact Lumix GF1... What?? ;)

This day at the rather dimly lit Ohsho in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. After seeing a television special of the expanding Japan based mega chain despite the economic down turn, I was so curious that I actually asked a friend to do a reconnaissance visit for me in the past. (Thanks again guys!)

Ohsho pumps out furiously fast but cooked-to-order Chinese food through a Japanese taste bud filter. The category called Chuka that I have a label tag for. The very obvious roots of the Gyoza is from China, the concept and even name derived from the Jiaozi.

I find Japanese Gyozas generally thinner skinned and also feel preferred with a higher filling ratio of meat-to-wrapper. It's what I grew up with and it's what I like.. *shrugs*

Gyoza no Ohsho (full name) makes these handmade daily from scratch with unfrozen ingredients. I'd like to call it the In-N-Out of gyozas cause they're just as cheap as they are fresh too. A plate of six perfectly pan fried beauties here went for 231-yen (~$2.31). And they're crispy juicy garlicky delicious!

Cost Performance wise I'm well in agreement that Ohsho's gyozas are a good established base to measure Japanese gyoza quality. A conversation can go as.., "Your Gyozas were delicious? How much were they?" And also.. "Your Gyozas were cheap? Was it as good as Ohsho??" Simple stuff.

The rest of the menu while decent unfortunately seems not at the same level. There wasn't much to complain about my half han-chan fried rice which was OK for the price (included soup for 261-yen). Similar comments from friends who had a much wider spread.

I still use the GF1 mostly on Auto and still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles. The pancake 20mm (40mm SLR equivalent) is a very fast 1.7 lens that gives you that often used trick of shallow depth of field in food photography. Though I'm not against it I do feel it tends to be overused. I just think there are appropriate times to use the technique and I get annoyed when people assume it's the sign of good "professional looking" food photos. Anyway if you feel suffering from tunnel vision and slight discombobulation from today's set, again sorry about that, my camera was on Auto. Still figuring how to adjust aperture on the fly. Sometimes I like to remember what was on the rest of my plate!? ;)


K and S said...

we have an osho (which I believe is from kyoto) and an osaka osho (which is the brother of the guy from kyoto, I think)...the osho you talk about always has their gyoza for sale (I believe at least once a week) and there is a line!!!

KirkK said...

Man, you sure do go through cameras!

kirbie said...

Lol, your new GF. I might have to ask you for some camera advice. I bought the same camera not too long ago after wanting something smaller than my dslr for less fancy food eats, but wanting something better than my old Canon powershot. The blogger who recommended it seemed to take fantastic photos with it and I read so many good things, but so far I'm not having much success with the camera and the pictures are often very diff from what they look like in the preview. I know I should just sit down and read the manual and play with it more, but I don't have the patience.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat! Yeah the place is packed with college kids and younger salary men. I sort of fit in... :)
I heard the Ohsho chain's first foothold in Tokyo was in Shimokitazawa. Not sure if the store I was at was it or not though.

Hi Kirk, haha. It's probably my last upgrade and I'm very choosy as to where/when I use it. Probably will never get a dslr, I find them combersome and personally can't be bothered. The S90 is still my workhorse for everyday outings.

Hi Kirbie! I'll have to email you about what I can share with my experiences with the GF1. It does have it's unique personality like all cameras do but it's an excellent camera. For starters there's a button on the back that looks like a square target. I use that a lot to choose where I want it to focus.

Sasa said...

Oh! I lived in Shimo a couple of years ago and I used to go here a lot with my boyfriend who called it gyoza party...Natsukashii...

Dennis K. said...

Hi Sasa! Haha gyoza party sounds so perfect, and it wouldn't cost that much either. Always thought Shimokitazawa has such a great vibe. Lucky!