The streets of Yokohama Chinatown are a culinary dream with every other storefront vibrantly displaying their delights in plastic and laminated menus. Choosing where and what to eat can be a major hurdle, especially when each restaurant you pass looks better than the last.
If you’re looking for variety, quality, and most importantly - for some quantity - then Shoufukumon should be near the top of your dining to-do list when visiting Chukagai’s colorful streets. Located in the heart of Yokohama Chinatown, Shoufukumon’s six stories subtly contrast with some of the more gaudy restaurants and shops that surround it, but its simple elegance masks a foodie’s paradise that few restaurants in Chinatown can match. There are two options at Shoufukumon: the regular off the menu al la carte style found on the third through sixth floors, and the immensely popular buffet (バイキング) second floor which you enter via a stone spiral staircase. The buffet is Shoufukumon’s primary attraction and it’s common to wait an hour or more as they don’t take reservations; enough time to build up a hearty appetite.
Because Shoufukumon’s specialty is dim sum, the wait staff bring your orders in warm bamboo baskets, often stacked high, as you order from a menu. Just raise your hand and give a brisk “sumimasen” to have one of the waitresses get your order. With over forty menu items, which are numbered and pictured for your convenience, there is no shortage of variety. The shark fin soup and piping hot sho lon po are popular choices, but you might also be satisfied with the spring rolls, large variety of steamed dumplings, gyouza, and shumai. Be sure to try one of each.
Shoufukumon imposes no time limit on diners, so feel free to loosen your belt and sample as much of the menu as you can handle. In addition to the off-the-menu buffet, there is also a side bar to keep your plate filled with fried rice, daily soups, and crispy fried noodle snacks. The drink bar also has a variety of hot teas, iced coffee, and soft drink options. And most importantly, save room for the self serve desert fridge which features Chinese style sweets like annin tofu and coconut puddings. The buffet price is around 2,600 Yen per person, so be sure to get your fill of the huge variety on offer. Check their website for coupon offers as well.
If you care to try your hand at preparing Shoufukumon style food at home, then be sure to stop by the ground floor’s shop where you can take home many of the noodles, dumplings, and puddings that are featured on the menu. If you have trouble locating Shoufukumon’s reception area or its shop, look for the large animatronic panda lifting the cover off a steaming basket of dumplings.