Help! I am headed to Japan next week and will be staying in Yokohama. This will be my first time there and have no idea what to expect.
What are some great places to check out? I tend to prefer inexpensive casual places. I have heard about a soup place in Yokohama that specializes in amazing pork cha siu for their ramen and wonton soups, but can't remember the name.
Your suggestions are much appreciated! Noodles, pub-style, and tempura bars are especially appreciated :)
Daidaiya in Minato-Mirai has nice modern Japanese cuisine, with very original recipes: http://www.bento.com/rev/2274.html
Kurobutaya specializes in Berkshire pork prepared various ways, along with regional dishes from Kyushu and shochu to drink: http://www.bento.com/rev/2599.html
Toriyoshi is an izakaya chain famous for their spicy chicken wings; they also have good tofu dishes: http://www.bento.com/rev/2273.html
A bit more upscale, Kissho in Minato-Mirai is a relatively reasonably priced introduction to kaiseki (from Y8000), and they also have shabu-shabu: http://www.bento.com/rev/0083.html
Gachimaya might be a bit hard to find, but it's a good choice if you want to try Okinawan food: http://www.bento.com/rev/2469.html
That's been pretty much my experience too - places there tend to be touristy and mediocre.
FWIW, here are the top-rated places (out of over 300) from the often-reliable Ask-U ratings.
Kasairo Shinkan (Peking) 045-661-0661
Peking Hanten Honkan (Peking) 045-681-3535
Banraitei (Shanghai) 045-664-0767
Rakuen (Canton) 045-641-9308
Suisen (Canton) 045-681-6006
Sai (Taiwan) 045-664-3613
Tourin (Peking) 045-201-8255
re: Robb S
Fantastic, thank you and Silverjay very much for the great recommendations. Much appreciated and I will report back on what I try.
I think I remember the name now of the ramen shop in Yokohama that specializes in incredible pork chia su -- Sanoman. There is another place that is known for its seasonal fresh shiba jumping shrimp (shiba-ebi) used in dumplings, won ton, etc. but I can't recall that name.
So does "Sanoman" or a noodle shop near Gumyoji Station known for shiba-ebi in Yokohama sound familiar?
Two places you might want to look into are the Ramen Museum and the Curry Museum. Both meant to showcase and provide opportunity to sample two of Japan's most beloved dishes. Also, if you're interested, there are a bunch of yatai (street carts) not far from the west exit of Yokohama station, along the river. These serve o-den during the winter time. They're not cheap, but they're definitely a unique dining experience. Yokohama's really changed over the last few years...Also, depending on where you are staying in Yokohama, you're really not far from Tokyo. Places like Shibuya, Shinagawa, or Tokyo Station area are a single train line from the main Yokohama station.
I second the Ramen Museum. If you are really into Ramen, go there on an empty stomach, as you are likely to sample a few bowls made by genuine proprietors from many regions. You can have a full bowl, or the smaller, "tasting bowl" at most stands. When my wife - who is from Tokyo - first suggested this, it sounded corny to me, but, in the end, I'm really glad I went. It is supposedly an honor for a proprietor to be asked to peddle their Ramen at the museum. Plus, the place is just plain fun. Lots of nostalgic stuff, candy, toys, etc. It's like walking around Japan in the '50's. Highly recommended. P.