{  Kiraku — 喜楽  }

Kiraku -- 喜楽
Kiraku -- 喜楽
Kiraku -- 喜楽
Kiraku -- 喜楽

Located in Shibuya, this popular ramen joint has been around for years and serves delicious golden shoyu-based Chinese noodle (中華麺) ramen. It seems to be very popular amongst salary-men, students, and many of their loyal customers tend to be male. It’s located in a rather sketchy area (somewhat of a red light district…), but this place serves flavorful and delicious ramen.

The first floor counter seats were full when we arrived so we got seated in the second floor area. The workers were speaking Chinese to each other as we waited for our ramen. Both of us ordered the “Moyashi-men” (もやし麺) for 800yen. The generous amounts of moyashi with the golden shoyu-soup went perfectly together and I can see why many people love this place. Other popular ramen choices seem to be “Moyashi Wonton-men” (900yen), “Chashu wonton-men” (1000yen), and their gyoza (500yen). The ambiance is not necessarily nice nor does it have great service but the ramen is definitely good. Come check it out if you’re in the area.

Note: Some of their prices went up from when I took the photo of their menu

Closed // Wednesday
Hours // 11:30am – 8:30pm

Address // 2-17-6, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3461-2032
Website // n/a

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{  ZEN ROOM  }

ZEN ROOM
ZEN ROOM
ZEN ROOM
ZEN ROOM
ZEN ROOM

Our friends and I went to get Taiwanese-style hot pot in Jiyugaoka and had a delicious meal. They call this “Yakuzen-nabe” in Japanese which literally translates to herb-style hot pot. It uses all sorts of herbs and minerals that are supposed to be good for your skin and body and is very popular amongst women.

We were a party of four so we got two hot pots which cost 1780yen each. You choose two flavors for your soup base: “chicken broth soup/疲労回復 烏骨鶏スープ”, “soy soup/美肌豆乳スープ”, or “spicy detox soup/デトックス火鍋スープ”. Not sure if you can tell from the photos above but we both selected “soy soup” for our first choice, and chose “chicken broth soup” for one of the pots and “spicy detox soup” for the other so we could try all flavors. They all tasted completely different and we really enjoyed all of the soup bases.

The Hot pot set comes with 18 different kinds of ingredients and the server explains what each one is as as they place them in the pot to cook. We had never heard of most of the ingredients before but everything was good and we really enjoyed our lunch. We ended our meal by adding noodles for an extra 220yen. (You can add brown rice for an extra 330yen or add more soup for 300yen as well). Although it’s in Japanese, they explain all the ingredients and health benefits of this hot pot here if you are interested.

It may seem like a lot of food but all of us weren’t quite FULL after our meal so we were able to fit in some dessert afterwards. Luckily for us this awesome town of Jiyugaoka had so many cute cafes and treats to choose from ;)

Weekday Hours:
Lunch // 11:30 – 16:00 (L.O15:30)
Tea Time // 14:00 – 16:00 (L.O15:30)
Dinner // 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O22:00)

Weekend Hours:
Lunch // 11:30 – 17:00 (L.O16:30)
Tea Time // 15:00 – 17:00 (L.O16:30)
Dinner // 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O22:00)

Address // 2-25-17, Midorigaoka, Meguroku-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3717-2566
Website // http://www.zen-room.com

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{  Gozenbo — 御膳房  }

Gozenbo -- 御膳房
Gozenbo -- 御膳房
Gozenbo -- 御膳房
Gozenbo -- 御膳房

Gozenbo is a nice Chinese restaurant tucked away in one of the side streets surrounding Roppongi hills. The lunch sets are a great deal – everything is around 1000yen and the portions are very generous.

I got the ‘Mabo tofu lunch set’ which includes a salad, soup, pickles, and dessert for 950yen and I couldn’t even finish my plate. (Tip: their mabo tofu is quite spicy so if you’re like me and you can’t handle too much spice, ask them to lessen the spiciness when you place your order.) The other set pictured above is the ‘Fried chicken with hot spice’ which also comes with a salad, soup, pickles, and dessert for 950yen. Both dishes were tasty and I would recommend them. However, while eating we noticed that the tables around us were ordering half and half lunch sets. It seems like you can actually order half mabo tofu and half fried chicken type of thing but perhaps it’s a little more in price? I would have loved to do that to get more variety.

If you are in the Roppongi area and looking for a decent Chinese place, I would recommend this place.

Address // 6-8-15, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3470-2218
Website // http://www.gozenbo.com/

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{  Fureika — 富麗華  }

Fureika
Fureika
Fureika
Fureika

We decided to splurge a little and celebrate our birthday’s together (both Miss E and my bday are only a day apart!), so we went to try this highly-rated Chinese restaurant in Azabujuban. From the moment I stepped in the door, I just had a feeling that it was going to be good as the staff presented themselves very well and the service was great from beginning to end. We made reservations for 1pm and the place was completely full when we arrived. (The picture above is taken after the lunch service was over and we were one of the last few guests to leave).

The food? Simply delicious. All of us chose the 3300yen lunch course which includes an assorted appetizer, 3 steamed dim sum + 2 deep-fried dim sum, stir-fried prawns, fried rice, and a dessert of your choice. Everything was well seasoned (almost on the strong side) and tasted authentic. If anything, the portion was a bit on the small side but we all enjoyed our meal.

The best part? Miss E had called ahead to the restaurant to make a little surprise for me with a Happy Birthday music performance by the restaurant and a special dessert plate! We had a lovely time and definitely would recommend coming here if you want good Chinese cuisine.

Address // 3-7-5, Higashiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5561-7788
Website // http://www.chuugokuhanten.com/storefureika/

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{  Jin Din Rou — 京鼎樓  }

Jin Din Rou 京鼎樓
Jin Din Rou 京鼎樓
Jin Din Rou 京鼎樓

One of my favorite Chinese food is Xiaolongbao (小籠包). I’ve had my share of soup dumplings but I still can’t get over how much I fell in love with Xiaolongbao when I first tried Joe’s Shanghai in NYC. I also really enjoyed a small hole in the wall Fried Xiaolongbao place when I visited Shanghai as well. So when I found out that Joe’s Shanghai opened in Ginza, I was so excited yet disappointed because it just didn’t taste like the same Xiaolongbao that I fell in love with. I’ve also tried a few other places here and there but still haven’t found my go to spot. If you know of an amazing spot, please let me know.

In the mean time, I found a pretty decent place in Ebisu so I thought I’d share it with you. I went during lunch time and I got the lunch set that included Xiaolongbao and tantanmen noodles and my friend got the fried rice with Xiaolongbao set. They were both decent but not to die for. It’s still a pretty good deal and conveniently close to Ebisu station so if you’ve got a craving and you’re in the area check it out.

Address // 4-3-1, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5795-2255
Website // http://jin-din-rou.net/

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