There's a Cheesy Gyoza Gratin at Hide-Chan Ramen


[Photograph: Jamie Feldmar]

When I visited Hide-Chan Ramen in Midtown East last month to research their soup for our Best Ramen in NYC story, one non-ramen item caught my eye that couldn't be ignored. Even though I'd just ordered a bowl of pork soup that probably exceeded my caloric allotment for a week, there was no way I could let Cheese Gyoza ($6 for 5, $10 for 10, dinner only) pass by uneaten.

The name pretty much says it all —these are Hide-Chan's standard fried pork and vegetable gyoza topped with a layer of mozzarella cheese (think less Joe's Dairy and more Kraft), then broiled until the mozz has liquified and formed a golden, bubbly crust. Beneath the web of cheese, all of the gyoza are fused together into one greasy, delicious dumpling ball. No, there is no polite way to eat this, and no, there is no shame in scraping the cheesy bits off the plate after you demolish the gyoza.

If I described this as a balanced, nuanced, or sophisticated dish, I'd be lying. This is a gutbomb of the finest order, and it deserves to be heralded as such. Just think twice about ordering your ramen "Hakata Style" (read: maximum fat) afterwards.