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The BEST Dim Sum can be found....

skihara Apr 30, 2007 08:43 PM

To all of my fellow gaijin in tokyo, I have recently moved from Japan and landed back stateside, but wanted to let all of you HOUNDS know where the best Dim Sum is...and when I say the BEST, I mean the best I've eaten EVER. I'm a chinese american, grew up in Seattle, lived in San Francisco, have had many meals in Vancouver, B.C....all of these places (besides N.Y - where I unfortunantley haven't had the chance to gorge myself at) are known as having the best options for dim sum in North America. I spent three years in Tokyo hunting for the best of the best. And this is where I spent my days off with my girlfriend, eating, drinking tea, eating more, drinking more tea and eating more.

This is not Hong Kong style, where they push around carts of dim sum delights. The place isn't that big so there's no need and this style of dim sum is actually Taiwanese. Unlike most dim sum joints, you can opt for the tabehodai option )(all you can eat). Its a 90 min special that comes with your choice of unlimited chinese tea. You order from a menu (all the dim sum has pictures, there are about 45-60 different dishes which you can order from my last visit. They change up the menu every few months, taking some things off, and adding new things on to keep things interesting. But, all the "solid mainstays are there". Such as shu-mai, soup dumplings, shrimp dumplings, etc. Oh! But there are so much more. They have chinese ramen, mini stir fry dishes, mapo tofu, garlic chili shrimp, shark fin soup, jellyfish salad, beef tendon, boiled cold ginger chicken, daikon mochi (turnip cake, sooo hot, sooo crispy, but not overly oily), pig ears, 1000 year old egg, the best chicken feet (so tender the meat just falls off those 5 digits!). The list goes on and on. I'm salivating just thinking about this place. This is the goods my Hounds, the absolute goods.

In most larger Hong Kong style places, they use the push carts, and because of this, things have already been cooked. The dim sum is put into the baskets which after making a tour of the restaurant floor and after it finally reaches you, some of the items have cooled down or prehaps they were recycled from an earlier cart. However, this place really focuses on freshness and flavors. You put in your order and the chef will cook.steam/stir fry your order on the spot. The simple shrimp dumpling which is the tell tale sign of a dim sum restaurant (are they using whole shrimp or minced)...whole means you can taste and feel the texture of the whole shrimp rather than biting into minced shrimp. They use whole and they are moist and juicy. I seriously can't say enough of about this place. I took my parents there who were visiting for a week, and the 90 minutes we stayed there was a major highlight of their trip. They still talk about this place 3 years later and I'm sure we will for many more years on down the line.

While you are dining you are likely to see some of the old ladies who are working as waitresses sitting at a table next to you prepping out some of the dim sum and other ingredients. They are peeling pounds and pounds of fresh garlic or making the shu-mai dumplings by hand.

If you've read this far, you must be interested so I'll tell you the location....The name is in Kanji so I don't know the exact name but, here's the website. http://meitoku-chakan.co.jp. You'll need Japanese script reader for your browser I think to read it as the website is all in Japanese. Not everything is on their online menu. The place is in Ikebukero on the Yamanote Line, just north of Shinjuku station. Its a brief 5 min walk from the JR station. Phone number is 03-3985-5183.

Well...I hope you make it there...btw...they serve dim sum for lunch and dinner. Oh my! I gotta go back there...(actually flew back to tokyo for a week on a whim and just ate there earlier this month).

  1. kuidaore May 2, 2007 08:06 PM

    OMG, the best dim sum was in Japan and I didn't know that! And it's only 1000 yen for lunch!! Obviously, it's pronouced Chugoku Chakan.

    I'm not big on Chinese food in Japan (and I'm Japanese) and hardly go to a Chinese restaurant in Japan, but I'll definitely try this one on my next trip to Tokyo.

    Can you explain the difference between Japanese ramen and Chinese ramen? There's a place where "ramen" is served here (by a chef who used to have a restaurant in Chinatown in Yokohama), but to me it's not really Japanese ramen, but more like Chinese noodle soup. I've tried to explain that to ramen lovers here (Asians or Asian Americans).

    2 Replies
    1. re: kuidaore
      Tripeler Dec 20, 2007 02:07 AM

      This place seems to have closed, but about a block behind it is Chugoku Chakan #2, so I decided to go in with a friend. From the descriptions of the posts by kuidaore and skihara, you would not recognize this place. The service was indifferent/non-existent, the dishes really weren't that cheap, and they were just not very good. Save your money and avoid this place.

      1. re: Tripeler
        lost squirrel Dec 20, 2007 04:31 PM

        Oh no!
        I was really really excited to give it a try after the first review.
        Hmm, maybe I'll give it a try anyway. The search for good dim sum continues!

    2. steamer May 1, 2007 07:18 AM

      You've piqued my interest, guess I'm gonna have to roll up there. The name chugoku chakan means Chinese Tea hall or something to that effect.

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