01 December 2009

4th times a charm!

Another tale of being a foreigner in Japan!

This past weekend - I met up with some friends to go find this great gyoza restaurant. 
[Don't know what gyoza is?]

They are little heavenly dumplings filled with all sorts of goodness. 
Also known as pot-stickers to some people.

The above picture is the normal size of these little yummies! 

Well - there is this legendary place known as Communist Gyoza. It is located about 20 minutes away from base by train & is supposed to have HUGE gyoza and lots of delish flavors and many kinds of stuffings. 
Cheese, Corn, Garlic, Pork, Shrimp, Crab, Scallop, Onion...the list goes on and on and on.
So a few of us (gyoza lovers & gyoza virgins) met up to start the journey [search] for the place. 

Why is it called Communist gyoza??? 
You know the famous Seinfeld Soup Nazi???

"No Soup For You!"

Well - Communist Gyoza is fairly similar. Crazy
So on the menu (wish I got a picture) - there are some rules:
Rule #1 - You can only order once. So if you order the delicious scallops and your thinking your would like another order. No Gyoza For you! 
Rule #2 - There is no take out. You can't order 5 plates and take what you don't finish home. All or nothing. No Gyoza For You! 
Rule #3 - You are charged for a drink regardless of whether you want one or not. Seriously.

And: They dictate how much they think you should order. 
Example: For the family of 5 that was with us - they were going to order 7 plates. The waitress takes the order - then 2 seconds later she comes back to the table and was like..
Waitress: "7. No. Gyoza - Big Size. I think...4 plates."
Us: "What? No we ordered 7."
Waitress: "No. 4. - Yes. 4 only."
[Then the cook comes from around the counter and stands next to the waitress - just to make a point - they were serious. You can't order 7 - You can only order 4.]

We ended up negotiating for 5 plates - but they were not going to have 7. 
The reason we were ordering so many plates was because each plate was a different flavor. We wanted to try many different ones. 
But- As soon as they brought our order out- We understood exactly why they said only 4. 

THEY were delicious. But they were HUGE and Yummy. 5 gyoza come per plate. I could only eat 4.5 and that was pushing it. I left that place stuffed! 

BUT - (Here is the Fun part.)

Getting to this little slice of heaven was not easy. We got the directions off the internet from (what we thought was) a reliable website. The directions seemed easy enough and we did (I promise!!) follow them to a T. We walked for about an hour and 1/2
We [backtracked], we (circled), and we {retraced} our steps over. and over. and over. 
I'm serious we must have walked like 4-5 miles. 
We stopped at 5 different convienent stores to ask directions. 
No-one knew where this place was. 
We called 3/4 different people and they couldn't get us to the restaurant. 
We even stopped at an Irish Pub (where we ended up drinking at later) not once, but TWICE for directions. && They SPOKE English and they couldn't get us there. 
We went down some creppy-zig-zagging alleys that took us further away from where we wanted to be. 

[We witnessed the falling of a drunk Japanese Man. On our first time passing him. 
We witnessed a woman helping that man (who busted his head) on the second time passing him. 
& We witnessed the Ambulance arriving at the scene to help him on the third time passing him.]

Finally - using my VERY limited Japanese... I asked a random guy for help. This is proof that Japanese people really are one-of-a-kind. 
This guy (who didn't speak English) searched  for the restaurant on the internet on his cell phone, called the restaurant for directions, then walked us all the way there (which was more than slightly out of his way, I'm sure!). This is him: 

When we finally got there - the kiddos were starving - and we made MORE THAN ENOUGH room in our stomachs for the few extra calories...
considering we trekked through this city for more than an hour and a half. 

Here I am- 
Before: Ready for some fabulous gyoza!
During: Bitchy-Cranky-Hungry.
After: Satisfied @ the Pub with a full stomach and a beer! 

 I have to credit - the Vaughan Family for the Pictures!! Thanks! 



  1. Sounds and looks like it was worth circling the city three times.

  2. Your stories never fail to crack me up! I love that you are out there in a very foreign country and you just throw yourself out there! It's such a great experience.

  3. LOL Sounds like something I would do (get totally lost). Sounds like it was worth it in the end though!

    The Japanese are amazing aren't they? I remember I was taking my son to a modeling job that was like an hour and a half - 2 hours away. I was on the train for a while and it was one of those trains that didn't have the screen above the doors telling you where you were and the conductor spoke Japanese the whole time. So I was searching my map like crazy trying to figure out where the heck I was so I knew when to get off. I guess this lady sitting next to me saw the panic in my face and with limited English she tried to help me find my stop. She told me where her stop was and where to go, but then later decided she was going to ride the whole way with me and help me use the machines and everything. I was amazed because her stop was at least 30 minutes before mine. She was def good people. I was soooo grateful for her. She made sure I got to the photo shoot on time, otherwise I probably would've missed my stop and have been totally late.

    Anywho, great blog!!!

  4. Haha!!! I love it that they are like the soup nazi (I'm sure you weren't too thrilled) but I think it's great! Too funny. That food looks so good!