After having tried some very nice gyoza prepared by my wife at home, she told me that it was from "Osaka Osho". I've starting paying more attention to different types of gyoza afterwards. After OTing in the office during the Easter holidays , we were walking around Time Square and the brightly-lit shop front caught our attention:
Osaka Osho, like Yoshinoya, is a famous fast food chain in Japan. It apparently started in Kyoto since 1967
They serve a number of "Japanese/Chinese" fusion food, i.e. 中華風, like many cuisines in Yokohama. For example, rice dishes like "Tenshin Han" and "MaPo Tofu Han" as well as a number of Udon. However, they are really famous for their Gyoza. What's special about their gyoza is that they had onions, chives, ginger, lean and fat meat in each gyoza. The secret must lie in the ratio of each ingredient as well as how the gyoza skin was prepared.
It is relatively standardized as I saw a huge pot of gyoza fillings which should have been delivered from a central factory. All the staff in each branch will "only" have to put the filling into the also prepared gyoza skin and then fry it. Certainly this is easier said than done. Just like different branches of KFC or McDonald's have surprisingly different tastes.
餃子$28 6隻。 另有飯及烏冬套餐供應。
餃子$28 6隻。 另有飯及烏冬套餐供應。
We ordered one "Gyoza set" with "Crab Meat Tenshin Han" (The other two types were Pork Meat and Chicken Meat), one "Mapo Tofu" and one "Fried Chicken". Maybe it's just me, but I always find it quite annoying & confusing to order from food courts. Different food courts have widely different practices. Some require you to buy a ticket at a separate counter, some require you to order first, some require you pay first, some require you to pay the restaurant, some have an electronic numbering system, while others just rely on shouting...etc. What's worse is that none of those food court appear to inform you about their "rules" in advance; you'll only know that after you've finished queuing at the wrong line.
Anyway, here, you place your order with the shop staff then pay at the counter. After that, please remember to hang around the shop as they don't have an electronic alert system.
We got our food after a 7-8 minutes wait.
First about the gyoza: The amount and portion of the fillings were practically the same in every gyoza. The meat were tender and quite juicy. The onions and smaller amount of chives and ginger adds complexity to the gyoza and gave the gyoza a freshness in taste which is lacking in many other types of gyozas. The skin of each gyoza was also of consistent quality. They did not stick together. It was chewy but neither too thick nor too thin. (The gyozas at "一平安 Ippeian" TST and "秀 拉麵 Hide-chan Ramen" were quite good too.)
The gyoza sauce which came with it was also refreshingly good. Vinegar based soy sauce with some chopped ginger I believe.
However, as you could see from the photo above, the gyozas were a bit too oily. I believe the temperature of the hotplate was not hot enough which resulted in the lack of crispiness and oiliness. This is something which they need to improve (and is relatively easy to do so). It's HK$28 for six gyozas so it's quite reasonable. [We ordered the set so the price of the set included the gyoza, which was about HK$60]
The fried chicken was unfortunately quite bland. It wasn't marinated enough for my liking as I prefer strong flavours. The interesting thing was that it came with a packet of Japanese pepper, which I used. Again, perhaps because the oil wasn't hot enough, the skin was not as crispy as I'd like it to be. All in all, it's just OK. (If you like Japanese fired chicken, I can recommend "博多道場 Hataka Dojo", the CWB branch. )
Mapo Tofu is actually a very popular dish amongst Japanese people and it's a type of comfort food for many. It has evolved into quite a distinct flavour of its own and tastes a lot milder than it's Sichuan cousin. I've ordered the "spicy" Mapo Tofu (interestingly, the default Japanese mapo tofu is actually not spicy and is soy sauce based ). Looks like the difference between the spicy and not spicy Mapo Tofu was the addition of extra Japanese pepper and also some Sichuan pepper.
This was quite good. It's authentic Japanese Mapo tofu. If you are ordering Japanese mapo tofu, you're not really looking for a spicy kick but the focus should be on the tofu, the freshness of the spring onions and the texture of the sauce.
The quality of the tofu was good as it tasted very smooth and fresh. The chopped spring onions and the Sichuan pepper mixed well with the thick gravy sauce (which was somewhat similar to Cantonese style black bean sauce used in frying rice noodles). Very good with rice.
It's actually the first time I've seen this - I always thought it's the name of a character in "Dragon Ball Z" only!
Contrary to what most Japanese people's believe, "Tenshin Han" was actually not from Tenshin city in China. It a dish invented in Japan, probably from Yokohama. One version was that a Chinese settler in Yokohama used rice from Tenshin, and adopted a typical Chinese style of pouring a thick gravy and the food directly on top of the bowl of rice. The name "Tenshin Han" was an abbreviation.
(Ironically, according to a good Singaporean friend of mine, the "Singapore fried noodle" in Hong Kong is actually called "Hong Kong fried noodle" in Singapore! )
The gravy was again a "Chinese style" gravy. It's basically a scrambled egg with chopped spring onions, mixed vegetables and either crab meat, pork or chicken. The egg was similar to a "Fu Yung" egg. I find the egg very very soft and had quite a good egg taste. It mixed very well with the Japanese rice, which was quite chewy. There were shreds of real crab meat in the egg as well, not a lot but a decent amount. The Tenshin Han was a pleasant surprise.
The quality of the gyoza itself was consistently good. However, you'll have to depend on the particular chef in the branch. Frozen Osaka Osho gyozas are available and the quality is just as good. It was a bit oily on this occasion but was acceptable.
The friend chicken was nothing special.
The Mapo tofu was quite good. The tofu was very smooth and mixed well with the sauce. It is an authentic Japanese style so it's not spicy.
The Tenshin Han was a very pleasant surprise. It's a bit similar to an "Egg Fu Yung" but it's an authentic Japanese dish. Worth a try.
All in all, pretty good value and quality for a Japanese fast food chain. Worth a try.
題外話 / 補充資料
The author of "Dragon Ball" might be a fan of Osaka Osho! = P
After having tried some very nice gyoza prepared by my wife at home, she told me that it was from "Osaka Osho". I've starting paying more attention to different types of gyoza afterwards. After OTing in the office during the Easter holidays , we were walking around Time Square and the brightly-lit shop front caught our attention: Osaka Osho, like Yoshinoya, is a famous fast food chain in Japan. It apparently started in Kyoto since 1967 They serve a number o...