You’d expect an abundance of fine Chinese food in Tokyo, since the country is one of Japan’s closest neighbors. Unfortunately, most Chinese-style meals in the city are usually relegated to MSG-laden street food or formal, 12-course ordeals. Luckily for you, we’ve sampled from all over the city and discovered four places that fit somewhere tastefully in between, cooking up the highest-quality cuisines from all over China.
What could possibly be better than a bit of fine dining with a fabulous view? Sense serves top-notch Cantonese cuisine on the 37th floor of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. The impressive vista over eastern Tokyo might be the only thing to rival the menu.
The restaurant is the prize of the hotel, so the fact that it has black marble floors framed by tons of natural light only seems fitting. Nighttime welcomes a magical scene of city lights into the view.
The kitchen prides itself on using the finest available local and imported seafood and proteins, including Shanghai crab, Kobe beef sirloin and Okinawa grouper. Prawn wontons, served with mayonnaise and mango, are the talk of the town, while the chef’s tasting menu is the ultimate seasonal treat.
But beyond the food, Sense is also renowned for its excellent Chinese teas. Some of the selections, like the Wild Wuyi Gold, are as costly as fine wine.
With a private entrance, an elevator for VIP guests and a philosophy calling for all diners to be treated like royalty, Fureika is one of the most beloved Chinese spots in town. Though the restaurant in the Azabu Juban district specializes in Shanghai cuisine (see: xiaolongbao handmade dumplings and shanghai crab), it also excels at Pekingese, Hokkien and Cantonese fare. In fact, the latter’s sought-after roasted pork is served throughout the year.
Peak dining times bring live entertainment in the form of the relaxing sounds of Chinese string instruments such as the erhu fiddle and the zither. The restaurant’s interior is dimly lit and furnished with traditional wooden chairs.
Be sure to make a reservation. Lunch sets and dinner courses are served seven days a week.
The signature restaurant at Capitol Hotel Tokyu features an extensive menu of exotic delicacies like swallow’s nest soup, lobster in chili sauce, and abalone. Classic Chinese favorites such as Beijing duck, dim sum and mango pudding are also crafted under the meticulous eye of chef Noboru Kobayashi.
Private rooms in the restaurant are perfect for intimate occasions, each of them decorated with original Chinese calligraphy scrolls and round, banquet-style tables. To complete the mood, dishes are served on Oriental-style fine china.
One of the most popular purchases at Star Hill is the exquisite takeout sweets. Beautifully wrapped, seasonal Chinese delicacies such as mooncakes are perfect bedtime treats or for sharing with loved ones.
A new face on the local Chinese cuisine scene, Jasmine can be found by the long line of hopeful diners snaking around the Shibuya building. Simple décor, and an even simpler menu, greets those who finally make it inside.
Thankfully, none of this takes away from the exquisite quality of the food. Lunch and dinner sets are reasonably priced and served in generous portions. A specialty is the tantanmen, a spicy noodle soup. Pickles and fresh salads are seasonal, all made from local produce.