I would like to say that we found this place by ourselves and thus to claim discovery, but it would be a lie. The queue should have been a giveaway, but somehow we missed it. The truth is that we have read about Gyoza Lou in Metropolis, in a rather snobbish article, mentioned as a sort of antidote to dining at the Mandarin Oriental and similar high class restaurants. That was a few years back, so by now, having introduced loads of visiting friends to the place, we feel quite proprietorial towards Gyoza Lou. It has proved a safe bet for anyone not averse to pork.
The menu can not be any simpler than this. There is a choice of yaki (fried) or sui (steamed) gyoza with or without garlic and nira (a kind of onion) and three kinds of side dishes: cabbage, moyashi (bean sprouts) in a spicy, meaty sauce or chilled cucumber cubes with white miso. I’m generally partial to fried gyoza, but for some reason the steamed variety at this place tastes just as good.
Actually, at these prices, there is no need to make decisions at all, just order everything on the menu (minus the cabbage). Each plate will only cost a few hundred yen anyway. Considering the location at Jingumae, just one block behind the luxury boutiques of Omotesando, prices at Gyoza Lou are miraculously cheap. Nevertheless, the price itself would not make us come here as often as we do, if the gyoza were not so good. It is. Tasty, with just the right thickness of skin.
There are counter seats on both sides of the open kitchen and a few tables by the windows, seating four each. There is usually a queue, but it moves quickly. Try to go outside peak dining hours.
Food: 7/10 (very good)
Ambiance: 5/10 (OK)
Price-performance: 10/10 (a steal)
Address: 6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 (3) 3406-4743