- good fortune / gyoza / Gyoza no Antei / Lottery / Skateboard / Takarakuji
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From November 24th to December 24th, 2021, the Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho branch 新宿思い出横丁店 of gyoza specialty restaurant chain Gyoza no Antei 餃子の安亭 will offer a new winter menu item which will surely surprise you and invite you to snap a picture for your social media account.
Called the 年末ジャンボスケボー餃子 nenmatsu janbo sukebō gyōza (Year-End Jumbo skateboard gyoza), the unconventional gyoza dish brings together two incongruous sources of inspiration, the first and most obvious one being skateboarding which made its Olympic debut this year in Tokyo, giving Japan five medals. The second one is Japan's Takarakuji Lottery and its Year-End Jumbo (年末ジャンボ nenmatsu janbo in Japanese), the first and second prizes of which total one billion yen.
The owner of the restaurant, who has been a lottery fan for 30 years, wanted to support customers who dream of becoming millionaires. The main star of the dish is a giant board-shaped version of Gyoza no Antei's gyoza dumplings, attached to a set of nori seaweed roll "wheels" made from the chain's popular Golden Fried Rice. The wheels are connected by an axle made of a Matcha-flavored Pocky cookie stick.
Taking a hint from the Japanese skater term ゴン攻め gon-zeme (bravely taking on hard obstacles) which went viral this summer after former skateboarding champion Ryo Sejiri used it when he was guest commentator on public broadcaster NHK's coverage of the events, the dish has "G" for gyoza, "O" for 大きい ōkī (big), and "N" for nenmatsu janbo, making it a GON-zeme culinary creation.
The dish is 8 cm long, 17 cm wide, and 3.5 cm high (including the wheels), which is apparently a reference to the Jumbo Lottery. The gyoza "deck" of the board weighs about 120 grams (about a quarter of a pound fully cooked), which is equivalent to about five regular gyoza dumplings (22 to 24 grams each), making it quite a mouthful.
The edible maple leaves (椛 momiji in Japanese) and the rice in the wheels are a reference to 西矢椛 Momiji Nishiya, who became one of the youngest gold medalists after she competed in the Tokyo Olympic's skateboarding events at the age of 13. Nishiya, now 14, is currently based in the United States, which can be written in Japanese as 米国 beikoku, using the kanji for rice.
Finally, during the campaign period, customers who can show their year-end jumbo lottery ticket will be able to enjoy the lucky dish for the low price of 477 yen, a 300 yen discount from the regular price of 777 yen, which is itself a lucky number inspired by the first prize worth 700 million yen. Gnarly!
Only five Year-End Jumbo Skateboard Gyoza sets will be served per day, so if you're looking for your lucky gyoza fix, be sure to arrive early!