Yes, you read right, CHEESE Gyoza, baby! While it would be especially interesting if they offered even more radical varieties, such as Falafel, Hummus, Fetta and Tzaziki Gyoza, Gyoza Rangoon or perhaps a Mexican “7-Layer Dip” Gyoza, a “basic” Cheese Gyoza is no doubt an interesting and unusual twist that I’m more than eager to try.
Of course, where there’s gyoza, there’s ramen (usually), and while here, I’m also reacquainting myself with their Shoyu Ramen, which I’ve tried here a while ago.
As always, first let’s case the joint…
Gyoza No Ohsho is located in the heart of Waikiki, in King’s Village Shopping Center, on the corner of Kaiulani street (named after the princess in the feature film) and Prince Edward street, behind the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa. See Burger King in front? OK, good. Now walk around the corner to the left and there you’ll find Gyoza No Ohsho, tucked away in a building behind on the corner.
Once inside, you’ll find the usual cramped, yet cozy ramen-ya style wrap-around counter, along with booths on either side…
Now the most important part, the menu…
While it doesn’t say it on the menu, I will note, like Ramen Nakamura and Tenkaippin, it’s CASH ONLY at Gyoza No Ohsho. Also notice, there’s no combo set “value meals”, otherwise, the ramen themselves are all competitively priced.
Notice for the Gyoza, there’s three choices: fried ($4.25), boiled ($4.25) and cheese ($4.50).
Before I try the Cheese Gyoza, first I’d like to get reacquainted with the Shoyu Ramen, hoping this time around it will be better than it was on my last visit. Let’s find out…
As usual, oishisou! (It looks delicious!). Very reasonable price as well, especially considering their prime (abeit slightly hidden) location smack in the center Waikiki.
I take a brief moment to observe. Meditate. Pray. Chant. Reflect. Ponder. OK, let’s do this!
Sip the broth…
It tastes pretty much tastes the same as I remember it the last time. There’s a hint of sweetness to it, as if they added a dash of mirin in it. Or it could be run-off from the char siu pork (notice the spelling). It’s certainly very “porky”, although doesn’t quite have the depth and complexity I’m still in search of, which so far as of this writing, the one to beat on Oahu is the Shoyu Ramen at Goma Tei.
Let’s try the noodles…
As confirmed by my server, like most other ramen shops on Oahu, Gyoza No Ohsho sources their noodles from the one, the only, THE BEST, Sun Noodle Factory. With that, the noodles were cooked perfectly al dente in the Japanese style of being more firm, while they also took on a decent amount of flavor from the broth. Very nice.
Notice there’s also bean sprouts in there, yet, unlike Taiyo Noodle, far from turning it into “sproutmen”….
Just enough to provide that crunchy, stringy texture and white color contrast. Perfect.
Let’s try the thick, single slice of char siu…
While being more lean and tough than I prefer, flavor-wise, it’s right on point, saturated thoroughly with the shoyu/mirin/sake/ginger braising liquid. When I say “tough”, I don’t mean like jerky-tough, but enough where I had to hold it very firmly with my chopsticks in order to bite off a piece. I’ll go 3 SPAM Musubi on their char siu for its flavor-packed punch that outshines its rather tough ‘n lean texture.
Finally, like every Japanese Ramen shop should, Gyoza No Ohsho tops theirs with Menma…
Not quite as generous with Menma as Tenkaippin or Ichiben, yet enough to undscore this as being Japanese Ramen.
Summing it up, Gyoza No Ohsho’s Shoyu broth was decent, yet not memorable, while the Char Siu packed lots of flavor, yet came across as a bit too lean ‘n tough. While the noodles were cooked perfectly, and Menma is always good in Ramen. With that, their Shoyu Ramen gets 2 SPAM Musubi (same as the last time).
Now on to what really should be the main event here, the Cheese Gyoza!…
You know they take their Gyoza seriously here when it’s served in this huge, scorching hot cast iron skillet sporting its own custom wood serving tray. Nice.
Let’s have a closer look…
According to the server, these Cheese Gyoza are made with a trio of cheeses, including Mozzarella, Provolone and Asiago, along with pork and green onion. A ravioli with an asian twist, if I ever seen one. God, that sounds good!
This should be VERY interesting. Let’s try it…
So how is it? Let me put it this way… how about we rename this place to “Gyoza So ONO!” lol Ding, ding, ding, we have WINNER! Oishii!
Interestingly, it doesn’t come across as being odd, but totally acceptable. It’s specifically a Gyoza-meets-Ravioli in every sense of its being. You get an ever-so-slight pungeance from the Asiago and Provolone, along with creamy, edgy gooeyness from the Mozzarella, while the pork and green onions add a savory and earthy element.
What I was most curious to find out was, how the cheese trio filling would pair with the shoyu and vinegar dipping sauce. Let’s try it…
Man, I’m gonna’ have start getting into video. These step-by-step photo presentations are becoming time consuming.
But, hey, you know what? Very good! The ponzu-style shoyu, vinegar and togarashi dipping sauce paired VERY WELL with the cheesy gyoza filling. I never imagined shoyu and cheese could paddle the same canoe, but this has proven they indeed can! I think what brought them together was the pork and green onion. believe it or not, the tangyness from the vinegar and savory robustness from the shoyu actually enhanced the three cheeses’ combined flavors.
Here’s a better look inside the Cheese Gyoza..
This could easily make its way into an Italian dish, as I can definitely see topping this with pesto, marinara or alfredo sauce as either an appetizer or main entree.
In light of that, I suppose it was a little strange eating something with cheese alongside a bowl of Japanese Ramen, yet it didn’t really bother me. In fact, it worked out really well! I think the shoyu-vinegar dipping sauce and the green onions in the Gyoza were the “merger”.
That said, I give Gyoza No Ohsho’s Cheese Gyoza an oh-so ono 4 SPAM Musubi! If you ever visit Gyoza No Ohsho and you’re even remotely a cheese fan, GET THIS. If you are a cheese fan, you’ll be wanting more and more and more, like I do just writing about here!
After tasting for myself the success of this, I’m gonna’ try experimenting at home making Gyoza with other cheeses, such as Brie and Gruyere. Ooh-la-la! I also wanna’ try making Gyoza Katsu by deep-frying it in panko. Any other Gyoza ideas? Let us hear about it!
Back to Gyoza No Ohsho, the service on this visit was fast and friendly, with my order arriving well within 10 minutes of being placed. This, while the restaurant was at about 50% capacity, which ain’t bad considering the 9pm time of my visit. Waikiki’s occupancy rate must be high right now.
Gyoza No Ohsho
King’s Village Shopping Center
131 Kaiulani Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel. (808) 922-2161
The Tasty Island rating:
(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase.