Unforgettable Gyoza: Santo in Yokohama's Chinatown
It was many many years ago, but I still remember when Santo first opened. It was so small that passersby often overlooked it, not noticing it was in fact a restaurant. Then the inevitable happened: it was eventually discovered by locals, and then by the media - and then Santo was gone, spooked - disappeared.
Until, that is, a few years later when it reappeared in another part of Chinatown. But this time with rules: no celebrity circuses, no media interviews allowed, we don't want the extra attention - we just want to make gyoza. The best gyoza. Ever.
And Santo does it better than anywhere else in Japan. They specialize in 水餃子 (sui gyoza), or boiled "water dumpling" gyoza. Although their menu contains other items, this is what you want to come for. Trust me. End of story.
Unless you know Chinatown well, Santo can be difficult to find. But not impossible. Use Google Maps and keep your eyes out for Santo's small yellow sign that sits out in front of their shop, which now has seats for 93 people.
Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku Yamashita-chō 150
Open seven days a week, from 11:00-01:00 (Last order: 24:30)
They're a 7-8 minute walk from Minato Mirai Line (Motomachi-Chinatown Station, Exit 2) or 430m from Nihon Odori Station