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Mar 5, 2008 04:58 PM

Dim Sum Restaurants in Yokohama?

I'm just starting to do some research for a possible trip to Japan. We may do a day visit to Yokohama and plan on visiting their Chinatown. Are there any high quality dim sum restaurants there? We have had dim sum in Hong Kong, Taipei and Vancouver, so are hoping for something good and worthwhile chow wise. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. I think if you've had really good dim sum in HK, Taipei, and Vancouver, you should probably avoid Yokohama. You'll only end up disappointed.

    10 Replies
    1. re: prasantrin

      Are you speaking from experience or merely generalizing? The reason I ask is because I've been fortunate to have had really good Chinese food in both Osaka and Tokyo as guests of Japanese friends. Granted these were high end restaurants which I wouldn't eat at on my own dime, but the food, while adjusted to the Japanese palate was excellent.

      Having never been to Yokohama before, I'm wondering if of the dozens and dozens of restaurants in Chinatown there isn't someplace serving good dim sum. Now it may very well be there are none, which is why I'm inquiring here. We will be in Japan for 11 days, so I thought it would be a nice change from eating strictly Japanese the whole time.

      1. re: curiousgeo

        I'll have to agree with prasantrin here - the Chinese restaurants in Yokohama Chinatown tend to be not very good, and rather disappointing compared to the cities you've mentioned. Here's an earlier thread on the topic (with some top-ranked Chinese places in case you decide to go that route):

        If it were my trip I'd probably go for some interesting Japanese food in Yokohama, and maybe have a Korean meal or two in Tokyo or elsewhere to break up the all-Japanese cuisine.

        1. re: Robb S

          I appreciate the link. Two thumbs down so far on Chinese food in Yokohama kind of echo the earlier thread, so it doesn't look too promising for dim sum. I'm still open to any recommendations in Chinatown though, noodles, dumplings, fried rice, stir fry, so if there is anyplace that does these particularly well I would appreciate hearing about them. Thanks again for your help.

          1. re: curiousgeo

            I am of Chinese background, frequent visitor to Hong Kong and Vancouver and very familiar with the Dim Sum scene in both cities. I did not try the Dim Sum in Yokohama, but I will still encourage you to go to Chinatown. It is not a long stretch of road, and you can slowly stroll along the many stores that sell snacks and all sorts of street foods. The food has been modified for Japanese taste bud, so it is different from what you normally see in Hong Kong or Taipei. It has its own distinct atmosphere. I find even the packaging was interesting. We just walked and picked up little tidbits along the way. I can't remember too much details as the trip to Yokohama was a few years back but I did enjoy that stroll.

            1. re: curiousgeo

              I would also add that you shouldn't let our negative opinions of dim sum in Chinatown stop you from trying it. While it probably won't be the best dim sum you'll ever have, if you're in the need for a snack, you may as well give it a try (I don't think I'd waste a full meal on it, though). You might get lucky and find a good place that you can tell us about.

          2. re: curiousgeo

            I've only been to two dim sum places in Yokohama (don't remember their names, but they were "highly recommended" by local friends), and while the dim sum wasn't bad, it certainly didn't compare to the dim sum in HK or Vancouver.

            If you don't want to eat Japanese the entire time you're in Japan, go for Indian (depending on where in Japan you are), Korean, Italian, or French. You can get better examples of foods from those cuisines than you can with dim sum.

            1. re: prasantrin

              I'll echo every else's sentiments here. Yokohama's Chinatown is fun, I think it's a good place to go for the atmosphere and for a quick meal. I've been about 3 times so far and I haven't found anything to replace Phila's dim sum.
              It is nice to grab some huge pork buns from a street vendor and walk around. Give it a try anyway, just don't expect wonderful dim sum.

              1. re: lost squirrel

                I lived in Yokohama and really enjoyed Chinatown--the food is a lot lighter than a lot of places...

                1. re: foodslut

                  Any specific recs? The weather's getting nice again and I'm in the mood for a quick day trip.

                2. re: lost squirrel

                  I always found a 5 dollar pork bun to be ridiculous. But it is humongous and you know what? After living here now for a few years. You learn to just eat it.

          3. I'm a chinese American that has been living in Tokyo for the past 3 years. I am still searching for that definitive dim sum restaurant in Yokohama. We were just there this weekend taking my mom there who is visiting from NYC. She lived here 30 years ago and is still disappointed by the Chinese food here. I have slowly become accustomed to whatever I can find here.
            I don't think that it's fair to compare anymore. Japanese Chinese is just different, no better or worse. Like everything else the Japanese do, they like to perfect things. But it is also the Chinese living here who adjust their cooking to Japanese tastes and you simply cannot find the same ingredients here. I find the portions smaller here of course but the ingredients are fresher and top notch because the Chinese restaurants in the rest of the world can be pretty sketchy with what they use.
            So on to what I do like:
            Fukueimon is the all you can eat dim sum that we pretty much trust and go to when we are there. Because they are solid and have the main favorites and it's a good price. They have chicken feet which is not easy to come by.
            In Tokyo
            I really liked the Chinese dimsum at the westin. I don't know the name of the restaurant but it's expensive and really exquisite. The flavor is good. Definitely high end dim sum
            The Chinese dim sum all you can eat deal at Roppongi hills. Next to oak door.
            The one upstairs. It's good dim sum. For 5,000 per person consider it a deal. Because the atmosphere is nice and the service is always great
            You can go 1 thou cheaper and go Downstairs to the hong kong tea room. 4,000
            All you can eat and it's more regular and rowdy but the food is still solid. Just weird picking off a picture menu. But good way to load up on dim sum when you have that craving.
            We also had dim sum once at the Nikki hotel in Daiba. That was pretty good too for around the same price but it was a la carte.
            That's pretty much been my Chinese dim sum experience her in japan
            If anyone has been to Sense. Ive heard a lot about it and want to go but it is booked for months.
            And I am still in search of this Chinese buffet that was on Japanese tv once but don't know where and don't know the name. All I know is there is a baldwin piano store right next to it. If anyone has a clue, please let me know.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dingaling

              Wow I can't believe that anyone would mention Hong Kong Tea Room and Chinaroom (upstairs at the Grand Hyatt) in the same breath (so to speak). I thought that HKTR was quite mediocre, while Chinaroom has some of the better dim sum in town (albeit a fairly refined version that leaves out some of the more interesting but perhaps weird-seeming-to-the-uninitiated items and flavors).

              Sense in the Mandarin Hotel is a whole other level though IMO - really the best in town. (There's been some discussion elsewhere on the board, and apparently not everyone had the same experience as I did.)

              For more down-to-earth dim sum, I really like Lohotoi in Shirogane and Le Parc in Ebisu.
              Le Parc also has a branch in the Chinatown-in-a-shopping-mall complex in Tachikawa, but I haven't eaten there yet. (And BTW I just discovered yesterday that Lohotoi has a take-out-only shop across the street from the main store; it's only open until 6pm.)

              1. re: Robb S

                Just sayin... I did say it was 1,000 cheaper and a whole different class. But if you have been living here a while and craving it, it'll do just fine. I was just back in HK recently and nothing here comes close but like I said before youcant really compare. Different is different.
                I would have said the one at the westin was better than chinaroom
                I guess I'll have to make a reservation at sense to find out for myself. Will probably report back by Christmas.

                1. re: dingaling

                  Please do - I'd be interested in hearing what you think, especially compared to the Westin (which I haven't tried yet).

                  OK, fair enough - I understand what you're saying about craving, and it's true that HKTR has a big selection, including stuff you won't get at the fancier hotel places. But I'm guessing you won't want to go back there after trying Le Parc and especially Lohotoi, which is closer to Hong Kong style. (I guess I was lucky to have already experienced better places before I tried HKTR.)

                  1. re: Robb S

                    My wife grew up Here and has been to them and I think lohotoi were her parents favorite. But just seems so shi shi fu fu and old school Japanese Chinese to me. Not sure if you understand. But I am just reluctant to go.

                    1. re: dingaling

                      Well Shirogane can be a bit full of itself, so I think I know what you mean. On the other hand when I chatted with some of the staff at Lohotoi they barely spoke any Japanese at all, FWIW.

              2. re: dingaling

                As everyone has said earlier in this thread, Yokohama Chinatown isn't really known for its good food among those who know the cuisine; it's more a tourist destination. So in general you might be better off looking in Tokyo rather than traveling down there. But I will check out Fukueimon; thanks for the recommendation.