Grilled as you like it

Yokohama Chinatown September 27, 2008

Filed under: Eating,Japan,Travel — laurel @ 11:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I’ve been gathering a lot of photos, but I haven’t had time to post them. I’ll be trying to catch up with some posts about our summer adventures over the next few weeks.

a popular shop selling nikuman, steamed pork buns

A few weeks ago, Alex and I took the train down to Yokohama to check out the famous Chinatown there. Once you pass through one of the many gates marking the entrance to Chinatown, you will notice souvenir shops, Chinese groceries, tea shops, and arcades, but most of all, there are Chinese restaurants. There are probably a hundred or more Chinese restaurants packed into an area that’s just a few blocks in each direction. Many of the restaurants offered overpriced dim sum buffets, while others sold just a few specialties, such as dumplings, steamed buns, or ramen.

charshu-man, steamed pork buns filled with Chinese-style barbecued pork

Alex and I picked out a restaurant that had rows of glossy roasted ducks and chickens hanging in the window, and a substantial waiting list. We found, however, that the dim sum plates were small, even for two, and the service was often slow and forgetful, so we didn’t leave feeling like we had gotten our money’s worth. We did, however, leave with pretty full stomachs after trying a good variety of dishes.I think if we were to go to Chinatown again in the future, I would skip the dim-sum buffets and pick and choose dishes from the dumpling vendors that line the streets or the shops that let you order just one dish (for a lower price of course).

A popular ingredients in Chinatown is fuka-hire, or shark’s fin, but I’m not a big fan since it’s not very sustainable to hunt such a large fish just to eat the fins and throw the rest away. I don’t think it has much flavor anyways, it’s more of a texture thing I guess. So I was avoiding a fair number of items on the menu.

One dish that I was glad to get because I can’t seem to find it in Gunma was the charshu-man, steamed buns filled with charshu, Chinese barbecued pork. I think they’re much tastier than the regular niku-man that you can find at convenience stores. I also had my favorite dim-sum dessert of sesame balls.

Shark’s fins hanging in a shop window in Chinatown

After lunch it was raining, so we didn’t hang out for too much longer. We did take some time to go to a few of the Chinese groceries to pick up some ingredients so that we can try making our own dim-sum at home sometime. I got some dried lotus leaves and Chinese sausage for making lotus-leaf wrapped sticky rice and we also picked up a variety of seasonings like chili-garlic sauce, tobanjiang (chili bean paste), and fermented black beans. I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes soon!

This kitty know’s where the good stuff’s at, “Let me in…”

Copyright 2008 LMS


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