Fancy some Chinese food? There's no better place in Japan to get it than at Chinatown in Yokohama. Just take the train for about an hour from Tokyo and "Konnichiwa" turns into "Ni Hao". Being a Singaporean living in Japan, I need my dosage of Chinese food once in a while and this is where I get my fix. I've tried a lot of food here. Some were good and some not so, but I'm not done exploring. As I uncover more gems in the future, I'll add them to this list. For now, here are my 5 favorite food items in the largest Chinatown in Asia.
1) Shark Fin's Deep Fried Bao (Chin Sen Bi)
You most probably are acquainted with a Bao, but have you tried a deep fried one? You get all the goodness that comes with an ordinary Bao and additional crispness as you bite into its skin. For its size, 120 yen is cheap! You'll find this in Chin Sen Bi which is located to the right of the main gate. Be warned though, if you are looking to snack about in Chinatown, don't start with this. The bun along with its filling of minced meat and scattered pieces of shark's fin will occupy quite a bit of space in that tummy of yours.
2) Xiao Long Bao (Houtenkaku)
If you happen to visit Chinatown during lunch, look out for the longest line and it will probably lead to Houtenkaku. Houtenkaku serves up Xiao Long Bao. Two versions of it. Steamed and fried. They also come in three different flavors. Crab Miso with pork, scallop with pork and pork by itself. Can't decide which one to get? I highly recommend the scallop with pork. Still undecided? Get the assorted pack of six for 920 yen. It comes with two of each flavor. Problem solved! Oh wait, you'll still have to decide if you wanna go for steamed or fried. Hmmm... decisions, decisions.
3) Beef with Rice (Shin Kin Kou)
If you are traveling on a budget, I highly recommend going for the Beef with Rice. It's not located on the main street, so you'll have to adventure a little to devour this. There's a little alley on the right somewhere along Chinatown's main street called Hong Kong Street. Walk into that alley and you'll see Shin Kin Kou on your left. Don't enter! Keep walking to the back of that restaurant and you'll find the stall pictured above. Extract 500 yen from your pocket and enjoy this hearty dish that will definitely put a big smile on your face.
4) Mapo Tofu (Dalian)
Ratketeer, I've got a treat for you. I'm a big fan of Mapo Tofu and the Mapo Tofu served up in Dalian is by far, the best I've had in Japan. If you were to only get one food item on this list, I highly recommend for you to get this. It's cooked Szechuan style and goes for 960 yen. This sizzling bowl of sexiness is smooth, spicy and oh so flavorful. A must-get dish when you visit Chinatown!
5) Tapioca Mango Milk (Ding Yun Formosa Tea)
After the Mapo Tofu, your mouth will probably be on fire! Walk on down to Ding Yun Formosa Tea to extinguish them flames. Ding Yun Formosa Tea specializes in serving up amazing Chinese Tea and desserts. My favorite dessert here would have to be the Tapioca Mango Milk which goes for 600 yen. It's creamy with mango goodness and the tapioca balls are a delight to bite into. This will definitely refresh you and is a great way to end your Yokohama Chinatown food run.