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Best Chinese in Tokyo?

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Dustin_E Aug 24, 2010 11:35 AM

I'm planning a return trip to Tokyo, and would love to eat at a few of their 'best' chinese restaurants. Price isn't too much of a concern.

I am hoping to find restaurants that showcase interesting, unique and/or historically authentic aspects of chinese cuisine, rather than just serving very expensive "sashimi" courses with some chinese flavoring in a place with nice service/decor. The focus of this trip is sushi, ramen, and non-ramen chinese (in that order) so i'd like my chinese meals to not focus on on raw fish or traditional ramen.

I've really only had one tokyo chinese meal - a 6 course meal for 4000 Yen pp at the top of the Takashimaya in shinjuku. On my last trip I was really hoping to try Ryuan, but didn't get a chance to. I suspect i'd more likely find what i'm looking for at a small place like ryuan than larger places in hotels or shopping centers, but i'm not entirely sure.

If you have any sense of how these top places in tokyo compare to top places in hong kong / shanghai / beijing / taipei, that would be very helpful too.

Any input would be very much appreciated!! Thank You!

-Dustin

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    Asomaniac RE: Dustin_E Aug 24, 2010 11:01 PM

    Where did you find "very expensive sashimi courses with some Chinese flavourings" in Japan? I have lived here for many years and have never come across such a thing. Would actually be quite keen to try it.

    There are tons and tons of Chinese restaurants. Many are unfortunately adjusted to Japanese tastes (often less spicy etc) but there is lots of relatively decent stuff as well. High end Chinese can be good but vastly overpriced (e.g., Reikasai is very decent but for 20,000 yen a head just for the food w/o drinks is crazily overpriced).

    I don't think I am competent to say what is 'the best' and most authentic in Tokyo. Even in Yokohama Chinatown, authentic places peddling average to good Cantonese food reminiscent of many very similar joints in Hong Kong exist side by side with very japanified places. If you don't get enough useful advice on chowhound, try looking for tips in Yokohama Chinatown on the internet.

    Also, as I like it spicy, I enjoy going to a decent Szechuanese place in Tokyo. It is located in Shin Marunouchi Building close to Tokyo station ("Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant", 6th floor). Best to tell them you want extra Szechuanese pepper in your dishes as they are sometimes careful, not wanting to overdo it for their (often spice-sensitive) japanese guests. Otherwise a number of dishes were as good as I have had in good restuarants in Chengdu, Szechuan (though some - while very very tasty - did differ from their equivalents in Szechuan)

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    1. re: Asomaniac
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      Dustin_E RE: Asomaniac Aug 25, 2010 08:48 AM

      Great, thanks for the response! that's really helpful!

      I live in San Francisco. The sole North American Michelin-Starred chinese place , Wing Lei in Las Vegas, includes sashimi-like courses on their tasting menu - presumably to justify the high price for Americans who are used to expensive japanese food and cheap chinese food. I was worried high-end chinese places in Tokyo did the same thing. There are a couple good, authentic, relatively high-end places here in the bay area: Koi Palace and Jai Yun, but I don't think they are really on the same level of "top" places you can find in Asia (at least judging from my single 4000 Yen meal at the top of Takashimaya mall 3 years ago, and many Michelin starred japanese restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto from previous trips.)

      The Michelin Guide reviews of Momonoki, Reikasai and Ryuan look closest to what i think I'm looking for, but I've read the Michelin guide is pretty unreliable for chinese food. Could you give a little more idea of why Rekasai is overpriced? (E.g. for me, decor and service, and abundant amounts of a pricey ingredient I don't consider worth spending on, but very unique ingredients prepared in very unique ways i would.) I'll be in tokyo for one week, primarily to eat interesting things at interesting restaurants, but only once, so i unfortunately don't have very many meals to trial and error, but also am not as price sensitive as i am here at home.

      Apart from spiciness, any color on how Tokyo chinese restaurants differ from those in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and/or Taipei would be very much appreciated.

      I will definitely check out Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, and tips on Yokohama Chinatown.

      Thanks Again!!

      -Dustin

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