Eat, Make, and Learn All About Nikuman (Meat Buns) in Yokohama Chinatown!

Eat, Make, and Learn All About Nikuman (Meat Buns) in Yokohama Chinatown!
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Yokohama Chinatown, is a huge center full of entertainment. There’s lots of tasty food to eat, it’s fun to stroll through, and here at Yoshu Hanten restaurant, you can enjoy the thrill of making some of that food for yourself. Originally establishing its main location in 1955, Yoshu Hanten now has a new main location along Chukagai’s Odori Street. For over 60 years, this long-established Chinese restaurant has been watching over Chinatown.

Originally this main location offered dim sum as part of its recommended menu. The dough is made at the restaurant’s own factory, and their dim sum menu has over 20 different items. Beginning with standard fare like nikuman (meat buns) and harumaki (spring rolls), they also offer items like turnip cakes made with sausages and dried shrimp, and jade dumplings with scallop and shrimp, as well as items that can’t be found at any other restaurant in the area. Diners can enjoy dishes made with painstaking detail at Yoshu Hanten.



However, that’s not all. At Yoshu Hanten’s main location, you can take pride in preparing your very own dim sum! Hearing this, kumicky (Kumiko Funayama) and Pikarin (Hikari Shiina) could barely contain their excitement!

As they approached the restaurant, the two girls were immediately greeted by Yoshu Hanten’s Chef Sommelier, Kiyokazu Akagi. Although Chinese cuisine and wine specialist might seem like an odd combination, Yoshu Hanten is famous for pairing Chinese food with the perfect wine. Here they’ll select the perfect glass to compliment your dish, from wide variety of wines from all over the world and rare Chinese liquors, so you can get buzzed on top-notch drinks as you enjoy exquisitely tasty Chinese cuisine.

Mr. Akagi guided the two to the restaurant’s VIP room, which resembled the kind of place you’d imagine politicians holding secret discussions in. Although this room might seem expensive at a first glance, anyone is welcome to reserve it. So, we decided to request our dim sum-making lesson right in this very room.

When kumicky and Pikarin reached the table, it already had meat bun dough lined up for them. While it might seem like all you have to do is wrap them up, how they taste depends on how thick or thin the dough is. Likewise, since the dough contains yeast, the higher the temperature, the more the dough will swell. Therefore, it requires careful and delicate hands!




Rather than pinching the dough from the side, you have to make a mountain shape with your thumb and index finger and scoop it up. After that, you make the folds and mold it into the proper shape. This is also a difficult task. With little time to waste, kumicky and Pikarin got right to work, and produced some slightly misshaped buns. Watching the chef, the girls were amazed to see him create the perfect meat bun in just 5 seconds flat.

Although the girls imagined they’d be sitting there waiting while the meat buns were steaming, suddenly they found themselves taking part in a Chinese lesson from one of the restaurant’s native staff members. You see, this meat and dumpling cooking course also includes a 20-minute Chinese lesson, meaning you definitely won’t be bored. Instead of killing two birds with one stone, you’ll actually be killing three!



As the girls’ Chinese lesson wrapped up, their freshly steamed meat buns appeared. Simmered in meat broth and bigger than the palm of your hand, it’s easy to feel hungry just looking at them. Both kumicky and Pikarin stuffed their cheeks with them. With a mouthful of meat buns, delicious smiles broke across their faces!

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Yoshu Hanten
Address : 164, Yamashitacho, Naka-ku Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
Nearest Station : Motomachi-Chukagai
TEL : 045-651-5108



Writer, Book Reviewer. Having the degree of MA. (Japanese Literature) I love Japanese Girl's Popular Music, such as YUKI, Chara, Makoto Kawamoto, and Seiko Oomori.

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