By Yumi Imai
Here, I will introduce to you the best bowl of Chinese noodles I have ever had… right here in Yokohama!
The Japanese are famous noodle lovers, and I am definitely one of them. You may wonder if Japan is the best place to enjoy Chinese food, but Chinese noodles in Japan have evolved in their own original way. Actually, since Chinese noodles are one of the most popular dishes in Japan, there are countless numbers of noodle shops here. So under such competitive circumstances, believe me, the standard of Chinese noodles is quite high. And although Japanese-style Chinese noodles (called Ramen) are a must-try, I also recommend that you try TRUE Chinese noodles while you are here in Japan.
I believe the Tosho-men (shaved noodles) dish of Xi’an is the champion of them all. It has a unique, chewy texture and spicy flavor and comes in a variety of soups. Moreover, Yokohama is definitely the right place to enjoy Chinese cuisine, since it is home to the biggest Chinatown in Japan, and perhaps the world. Xi’an is a REAL Chinese restaurant rather than Japanese style Chinese. You can enjoy basic Chinese dishes like Mabo-tofu (tofu with chill sauce), fried vegetables, hot pot, gyoza (minced pork dumpling) etc., there as well. (The hot-pot is also one of the star dishes on the menu at Xi’an.)
I like the atmosphere here too: Quick friendly service with a Chinese interior. But getting back to Tosho-men, the spicy Tan-tan-men might be a good choice for non-vegetarians. But be careful—it’s hot! And in summer, special cold noodles are on the menu, for which you can choose red pepper sauce or mild sauce. I definitely recommend the former one if you can handle hot chili. This is the best of the best and goes great with an ice-cold beer!
And while you are at Xi’an, you can also enjoy a demonstration of their noodle-shaving technique behind a glass wall at the entrance. It’s exciting to see the chef making strings of noodles fly through the air into a huge boiling pot.
Please don’t miss it! Xi’an of Yokohama is great. I bet you will get hooked and keep coming back there time and time again whenever you are in the area.
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