Located in Tochigi Prefecture in Utsunomiya City is yet another gem of a restaurant famed for having delicious gyoza(fried dumplings). Sekairo is the name.
Now, since gyoza abounds in this part of Japan where almost everywhere you turn there’s a gyoza shop, there is yet but one little shop called Sekairo which is truly a local favorite. Now for me, I’ve been to this part of Japan about 11 times in five years and every time I come to this area I always eat gyoza. I have eaten at some of the best gyoza restaurants of which many came by recommendation from people who live in this area. Every recommendation was a good one.
However, what sets Sekairo apart from the rest is that it is a true authentic Chinese style gyoza shop replete with Chinese chefs, Chinese menus, and Chinese atmosphere. The gyoza itself is made with over 32 different ingredients stuffed into a dumpling.
According to Rurubu, a well founded Japanese travel guide, this is the editor’s favorite, and after I tried it it became my favorite, too. The editor also mentioned that no soy sauce was needed, I confirmed that also. This is true, I did not need to use any soy sauce at all for this gyoza, that’s how flavorsome it was!
I ate 12 dumplings all by myself without ever having to dip not one in sauce. The price though is a bit expensive. 1,000 per serving is about how much it cost. Plus I had ordered Sekairo’s special ramen which was very delicious. I wouldn’t recommend the fried rice,though, as it was a bit too bland, but if you add ramen soup to it the taste blends very well.
Both the interior and the exterior are very old, shabby and run down. However, the place was constantly filled to capacity. I mean every license plate in the shops parking lot was from Utsunomiya, so that goes to show that people like this place a whole lot. I certainly did. For serious eaters who are either on their way to Nikko, or other areas around Tochigi, I highly recommend stopping here for lunch. Other places like MinMin , located in the Utsunomiya Station, are too touristy. Go where the locals go !
No English is spoken. The menus are in Japanese and the service is timely. Cash only. Not conveniently located either. You need to drive in order to get there and if you are using the Tohoku Expressway then it is right near the exit.