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Jul 2, 2014 08:01 AM

Xiao Xiong Fan Dian

There is very little info about this two Michelin star Chinese restaurant on the internet. Does anyone have any information or experience from this place?

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    1. re: teriyakichi

      I already read it. It was sort of the reason why I posted this question. It has got two Michelin stars which means it is the best Chinese in Tokyo according to Michelin. That is in very stark contrast to what Andy Hayler wrote. Someone has got to be very wrong.

      1. re: Roysen

        I find Michelin to be not very reliable outside of France. An amalgamation of other sources is more reliable. With respect to Tokyo, it's not so much that Michelin doesn't identify good restaurants, it's just that it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what's available. Moreover, you are more likely to end up dining with non-residents, which for me changes the experience to some extent. I suggest delving into Tabelog a bit more. There is much less of a concern over "high end" in Tokyo given the focus on ingredient quality and atmosphere for even mid-priced (8,000-12,000) options.

        If I had such a recommendation for Chinese in Tokyo I would provide one, but alas I never bother with anything other than Japanese when we are there.

        1. re: Roysen

          I find Hayler to be somewhat of a pompous twerp but in this case he probably has a point. I don't know why anybody would eat "fine" Chinese food in Japan, unless you were looking for a weird experience overall. Probably worth once just for kicks, but your list has a half-dozen massively mediocre and outrageously expensive "Chinese" restaurants not worth wasting a dinner on.

          Even my favorite of the ilk, Wakiya, is something to try once but not more than that.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            I know that Chinese restaurants in Tokyo probably are not as good as in China. Shinji Nohara did however really recomend them especially since we share a passion for some Chinese specialities which these restaurants have on the menu like Dim Sum at Sense, like the Dazha Xie at Chogoku Hanten Fureika, like the roast suckling pig at Hei Fung Terrace and like the crispy chicken at Fook Lam Moon Maronouchi. So I am going there to experience some Chinese specialities I know they are serving at these restaurants. I am not going there expecting to get as high quality as I did if I went to a top Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

            I did have Xiao Xiong Fan Dian on my list too but took it off becuase of Andy Haylors review. I am interested in other opinions as well because they received two stars from the Michelin guide. So I wonder who is right and who is wrong. Until now some have forwarded their opinions but none of those opinions have been backed up by information that they have actually dined at that restaurant. They might have, but none has actually written that they have. So it's difficult to know how reliable the information really is.

            1. re: Roysen

              I don't think the comparison here is between "good" and "bad". It's between "authentic" and "weird". Is it "bad"? No, it's just "weird".

              As for your specific choices, the Dim Sum at Sense is rather pedestrian (see a review below), Hei Fung Terrace is an execrable ripoff, and Fook Lam Moon is an even bigger one. FLM is a ripoff even in Hong Kong. At FLM Marunouchi you're paying for the view, and is the kind of place you go to classic boring "get me out of here" business dinners that most people go out of their way to avoid.


              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                Actually I really don't care that much if the restaurant is the classic boring "get me out of here" business dinner or considered a rip off by Japanese regular diners.

                I am not sure I understand what you mean by weird or pedestrian..

                I don't mean to sound arrogant. Sorry if I come out sounding that way, but I really am trying to be as open minded as can be. That also includes considering where I come from and what I can compare with. Since I have never been to Asia before and since I haven't experienced much of quality dining at Chinese restaurants I am sure the restaurants in Tokyo will seem very good to me.

                So what I am really only interested in if the experience is good or if it is bad in my opinion. I don't want to compare to the authentic Chinese restaurants because I have never experienced them so there is no foundation to base that comparison on. I can only compare to the Chinese restaurants we have here in Scandinavia where I have been to all the best in Oslo and some in Sweden (Stockholm and Gothenburg) as well as in Copenhagen in Denmark.

                I am also a sucker for a nice view and a stylish interior. I don't mnd paying extra for that at all. But the food needs to be good and not bad.

                In terms of the Dim Sum at Sense I am quite sure I will be pleased with it compared to what I am used to. I live in Norway and we have only four restaurants serving Dim Sum in the entire country. Those four restaurants don't make the Dim Sum fresh themselves but they buy them from China and get them flown in frozen. Compared to that I am sure Sense will be fantastic.

                At Hei Fung Terrace it is only the quality of what they call their famous cripsy chicken themselves which is of a matter to me in additon to the environment in the restaurant (view, interior and level of service). I would like to add that I have never had a traditional Chinese crispy chicken before because they are not available around in my country and I have never made priority to have it on any of my previous trips because I have never been to Asia before.

                Similarily I am certain the roast suckling pig at Hei Fung Terrace will be magnificent because I have never tried Chinese roast suckling pig before in any Chinese restaurant.

                Likewise I am certain I will enjoy the Dazha Xie at Chugoku Hanten Fureika because I have never tried Dazha Xie before.

                Part of what I want is to actually X off having tried these meals in a Chinese restaurant somewhere.

                What would be valuable to me was if someone had recomendations where I should go to have these dishes that I want to experience at a restaurant in Tokyo where they think they will serve it in a way that I probably would think is better. Now that would be something I could work with for my planned trip.

                1. re: Roysen

                  I see your point. I guess compared to Norway, Japan could be an interesting and revelatory Chinese food experience.

                  Given how expensive the restaurants you have picked are, my suggestion would be to take some of that money you'll be using to dine at frankly sub-par, inauthentic (in the purest sense of the world), underwhelming "Chinese" restaurants in Tokyo and fly yourself to Hong Kong for a few days.

                  All-in, probably will cost you the same, and you won't have to settle for second best, even if compared to your experiences in Scandinavia it may be very nice.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    That might a very good suggestion. Thanks!

                2. re: Uncle Yabai

                  I just read the review from Sense posted here and linked by you above.

                  I understand that the experience was not good. I am sure the review is spot on. I would however like to add that my intention is to buy a la carte and not by the menu and to show up when the restauarnt opens to be sure they are not sold out of anything or that everything is fresh and not having been standing for serveral hours. So I am still optimistic that my experience will be different. Then we will see if it is any good.

                  Now if someone came forward and adviced another place for better Dim Sum I would gladly replace Sense on my list. I am not saying that I will stick by it until death but until something better comes along I am sticking by it.

                  1. re: Roysen

                    I do have a question about etiquette in Japanese restaurants. When you encounter situations like the one described in the Sense review, it is very common to make a complaint to the restaurant where I come from. Is that considered rude here in Tokyo?

                    1. re: Roysen

                      I think the situation in the Sense review does deserve a complaint. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue a bit, but not in this case.

                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                        I understand. So it is not out of etiquette to make complaints? Not that I plan to do so - language problems and all that getting in the way, but I am just curious.

                        1. re: Roysen

                          No it's not. But you can easily make an arse out of yourself and not even know you did in a hundred other ways while in Japan.

                3. re: Roysen

                  I actually preferred Tokyo's Fook Lam Moon over Hong Kong's.

                  1. re: BaronDestructo

                    FLM in Hong Kong doesn't have a stellar reputation either. It's one of those old-school places that unless you are a long-time regular it isn't worth a damn.

                  2. re: Roysen

                    I found Chugoku Hanten Fureika to be quite good, especially lunch. Way better than most places in the US, but a definitely step down from say Lung King Heen in HK.

            2. Order the 8000JPY course here:


              Together with their fine list of aged rice wines, you'll be a happy camper.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gargle

                Thanks. I'll put it on my list.