Usually when I’m in Kyoto long term I stay in an apartment but this particular trip was a shorty so it was all about hotel life (5 of ’em to be precise!). Being slap bang in the centre of town this time it was easy to duck out for a quick bite to eat after our arrival around 9:30pm. I’d read about Anzukko on the EDK site so thought I’d give it a shot as Gyoza is the perfect post flight nibble and the restaurant happened to be almost attached to our hotel! And it’s open late. Co-incidence or not??
Anzukko specialises in tetsunabe gyoza – meaning they are all cooked and served in a big cast iron nabe (pot).
These particular gyoza have a fragile crunchy layer on the pan side and they are flipped for service so that you have to crack through it like a thin layer of brulee to break the gyoza apart.
The filling was moist and flavoursome with a slight hint of spice, perhaps cinnamon and coriander, making them slightly more aromatic than regular gyoza. They were delicious.
The steamed prawn and scallop dumplings (sui gyoza – above) were also excellent.
The cheese and pork (top left) I could easily have gone withou, the Nira manjyu (pork and garlic chives) weren’t as garlicky as I would have liked but were still tasty enough and the umeboshi and shiso (pickled plum paste with red shiso) were absolute crackers!! The tart plum paste cutting through the richness of the pork.
The hubby and wife team are very friendly (and welcoming of foreigners) and the homey, pocket sized restaurant, situated up a dingy flight of stairs which you can’t use (take the lift !), seems to have a local following. Drinks are cheap – always a bonus – and they had a decent range of sake, cocktails and beer.
And they also have an English menu – so what are you waiting for??
Note that there are some other little salad and side dishes including potato salad with rum raisin cream cheese… we gave that one a miss. Stick to the gyoza offerings and you can’t go wrong. Although the slab of roasted bacon looked pretty tempting….
Here’s the link. But if you get stuck – locate the Royal Park Hotel on Sanjo street near Kawaramachi. There is a slim alleyway along the eastern side of the hotel to the street behind- walk through it and the building is directly on your right. There is a signboard out the front.
*please note this review was written in 2013. Anzukko Gyoza is still there but we haven’t been there recently so if you have a different experience to us please do let us know. We are super keen to return – and have a couple more gyoza joints to check out next trip too so will update when we’ve done the research for you…. hard work but someone’s got to right?