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Yum Cha (Dim Sum) in Tokyo

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Hi,

any new developments as of 2010? Yokohama would also be acceptable if there is nothing in the city. What I'm looking for is a traditional cantonese eatery where you pay what you pick from the food carts, not some all you can eat. I went to Luk Yu last week -- something in this style would be nice. (Although they have no food carts but trays.)

Akeome!!

-AS

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  1. We had a dim sum thread about a year ago, and the only place with carts that we found was Kowloon Tenshin, an all-you-can-eat place in Shinjuku Lumine Est that's gotten very mixed reviews.

    My favorite dim sum is at Sense in the Mandarin Oriental - it's very refined and creative, and it's also tabehodai, so maybe it's not what you're looking for. Chinaroom in the Grand Hyatt is also good (and also tabehodai), but perhaps the dim sum is slightly less adventurous.

    More traditional, and both excellent, are Parc Cafe (Ebisu) and Lohotoi (Shiroganedai). Lohotoi has a limited menu - maybe ten dim sum items plus noodle and rice dishes, and some of the staff speak only limited Japanese.

    Coxtop also used to be very good, but I haven't been in a few years.
    Some reviews are here: http://www.bento.com/tcbrunch.html#di...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      I went to Coxtop a few months ago and it was pretty good. The atmosphere is interesting and we were the only ones there, they have a pretty full menu and the prices are reasonable for Tokyo dim sum. You'll have to order what you like, and then wait a bit for the food however.

      I made reservations at Sense for this Sunday - I'm looking forward to it very much.

      1. re: lost squirrel

        In the Hotel Keio Plaza, the Nan-En inside has a great great value lunch on week days at 2,500.-yens including 5 dishes with "Yum-Cha" and the atmosphere is very classy, different cantonese food, near the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo. Here the link : http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A130...

      2. re: Robb S

        There's a place in Ebisu called Le Parc, which is pretty good. Wonder if that's same as Parc Cafe that you mention.

        Le Parc also has a location in Tachikawa station's ekibiru complex (Granduo). Although I have not eaten at that one myself, I'm sure it's similar to Le Parc in Ebisu.

        This place at Granduo is almost like a little Chinatown. It's a collection of ten or so different Chinese restaurants and tea places, pretty much taking up an entire floor. I've enjoyed everything I've had there. If you're in the Shinjuku area or anywhere along Chuo Line, it's much easier to get to than Yokohama Chinatown. Just 25min (one-shot train ride) from Shinjuku.

        I have heard very good things from people who've been to the dim sum place in Mandarin Oriental. I know that Peninsula has a dim dum place... I'm sure it's well-regarded, but I don't know much about it.

        1. re: chowmouse

          Oops, yes I meant Le Parc, not Parc Cafe.

        2. re: Robb S

          http://www.mandarinoriental.com/tokyo...

          that looks nice (but prices are 200% of what i paid in central of course)

        3. just reserved mandarin oriental's sense for early February. if some of you guys is there before that, a review of the various dim sums would be highly appreciated.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Scharn

            Here's a detailed review of the menu from a month ago; I don't think it's changed that much:
            http://www.bento.com/rev/3231.html

            1. re: Scharn

              Please cancel your reservations, I had a terrible terrible time there yesterday. Of my party of 4 - each and every one of us was upset and disappointed over the whole debacle.

              1. re: lost squirrel

                pls specify!

                1. re: Scharn

                  Looks like he/she made a whole thread on this, so you can read about it there.

                  1. re: Scharn

                    Yeah, sorry. I forgot to link to it!
                    I see you found it, but for others who come to this thread:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/681248

              2. I recall reading a JPN guide book about Tsukiji Fish Market (and environs) and there's a branch of Hong Kong's Fook Lum Moon around that area, where the shark's fins and other ingredients are imported from HK. I can get the address on Monday...

                4 Replies
                1. re: K K

                  Fook Lam Moon in Tokyo doesn't really do dimsum service per se, although their Y4850 (cheapest) prix-fixe lunch includes four dumplings along with several other courses.

                  1. re: Robb S

                    The guide did list that price, and it was not clear to me that it was a packaged course. That sucks. But thanks for the clarification.

                    What about a restaurant called "Taiwan Kaisen"? Which does not seem like a true Canto joint, but has dim sum type dumplings in steamers?

                    1. re: K K

                      I've never heard of it.

                      1. re: Robb S

                        台湾海鮮 東銀座店‎
                        東京都中央区築地1-13-1ADK松竹スクエア2F‎03-3544-1717‎

                        It may be similar to FLM where you can only order packaged lunch w/some dim sum items but it seems more Taiwanese and Northern in nature than Cantonese yum cha.

                        e.g. Lunch C = 1260 yen
                        medicinal broth xiao long bao - 1575 yen
                        medicinal herbal hotpot - 4179 yen

                        If you copy and paste the name of the restaurant into maps.google.co.jp there will not only be a map pinpointing the location but 39 reviews and a few pix.

                2. Are any of the dim sum places suitable for single diners? I'm guessing tabehodai is the way to go, since then one can try more varieties, but some tabehodai places don't like single diners.

                  Any suggestions?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: prasantrin

                    Both Sense and Chinaroom are in hotels, and hotels are especially nice to people dining alone.

                  2. I think that most "dim sum restaurants" I've tried first-hand in Japan have not been particularly impressive, compared to obviously the dim sum places in Hong Kong.

                    However, I've been to many Chinese restaurants in Japan that are not dim-sum places per se, but offer a few dim sum type items as appetizers or a la carte items. And some of those items have been very impressive. I've had har gows at random Chinese joints in Japan that were as good as ones at Hong Kong's Spring Moon or Victoria City.

                    For example, there's this place called Haien in Saitama (www.haien.jp) - very good har gow, XLB, excellent yamucha set. Also there's a place called Crystal Jade in Kawasaki with XLB as good as the best you'll find in Hong Kong.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowmouse

                      The Crystal Jade is a Singapore-based with outlets all over Asia. The full name is Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Long Bao, in case you were wondering what their specialty is. I think they're pretty good, especially in Singapore and HK.

                    2. Has anyone actually been to Peninsula Tokyo's Hei Fung Terrace?

                      I've never been there, but I've been to Peninsula HKG's Spring Moon. Spring Moon's dim sum was great. I'm wondering if Hei Fung Terrace's compares, and whether it's worth it.

                      Looking at their menu, they only offer 12 items and every single one is over 1000yen (including 3-piece shrimp dumpling). This seems like a rip-off. But if it's as good as Spring Moon (which btw is much cheaper), we'd be willing to go try it.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chowmouse

                        I've been to Hei Fung and Fook Lam Moon in Japan. I found both to be quite meh relative to the real deal further south. And expensive as all hell.

                        1. re: Uncle Yabai

                          Always crowded is “the sweet dynasty 糖朝’’ in Aoyama Dori, and that is the reason why I can`t write about it : 30minutes wait on a Sunday lunch ? Perhaps, those who tried it might answer if it worth to wait. http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1306/A130...
                          The menu for lunch is at under 2000 yens... and they have dumplings.

                          1. re: Ninisix

                            The Sweet Dynasty is a HK chain, much better, cheaper there, and without the crazy crowds. I am not sure that is a place for lunch. Sweets, yes. Lunch, not so much.

                          2. re: Uncle Yabai

                            Okay I guess I won't try Hei Fung Terrace then. Yeah Hong Kong's dim sum is on another level. But I do still like Le Parc for dim sum. I guess for the most part, in Japan, I should stick to Chinese food that the Japanese do best... shrimp in chili sauce, fried rice dishes, pan fried noodle dishes (check out bairan yakisoba at www.bairan.jp), mabo tofu, XLB, steamed buns. A lot of these dishes... I feel that Japanese do better than the Chinese.

                        2. I went to visit my friend in Tokyo last month and went to a place called PANDA INN SHIROKANEDAI near where my friend lived....I mean, sadly, I never liked any of the dim sum places she took me before but....THIS IS THE PLACE you want to go for dim sum if you are in the central Tokyo!!! The Chef is a pure genius he can cook anything you ask for!! Enjoy!
                          http://panda-inn21.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: amioh

                            Just out of curiosity, what were the places you went that you didn't like? Any of the ones mentioned in this rather long thread?

                            1. re: Robb S

                              Are there any good/great Tokyo Hotel Sunday Brunches? Perhaps with dim sum.. Something like Conrad or Harbourside in Hong Kong. I've seen posting of all you can eat for say 90 minutes, but how about high end places.

                              like this one:
                              http://www.foodnut.com/587/conrad-hot...

                              1. re: Foodnut8

                                I think optional dim sum with your brunch must be a Hong Kong thing - here in Tokyo it's usually either Eggs Benedict or dumplings, and when it's both, the dumplings tend to suffer.

                                My favorite non-dim sum brunch spots in town are 1) Beacon (they do a great Huevos Rancheros, 2) Lauderdale (nice souffles and runny French-style omelets), and 3) Cafe Daisy (Danish fish and meat plates). Sorry, none is located in a hotel - does that make a difference?

                                If you want a buffet in a hotel (so you can rent a room for a post-brunch nap?), then I guess Ekki and French Kitchen and New York Grill are among the best.