Monday, May 3, 2010

Fukurou, Yokohama (福楼)

The Peafowl wanted to fly down and strut around Yokohama, and I figured this was as good a chance as any to disprove my previously-held notions about how boring it is while also scouting out future destinations. As one does, we flapped down on the Toyoko line, and by the time we got there our arms were awful tired. Not as tired as this guy, but I have a feeling it's just life doing that to him. Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown.

On the way down we were talking about the random shoot-from-the-hip, no-look pictures we've been taking on the streets recently; I had just posted a big set of said pictures from Saturday in Harajuku (sorry, Facebook only). As expected, roughly 500,000 other people had had the same bright idea to go to Chinatown today, so there were plenty of opportunities to take casual pictures. I like to call this one "Their Eyes Were Watching God, Except When They Were Watching Mom." You can also see several fowl if you look closely.

Admission: We picked Fukurou as much for the lack of line as for the perceived tastiness. But I do like the decor outside - pleasantly dirty and authentic. And I know nothing about Chinese food, so who am I to judge? So many of the places with long lines looked very ordinary (although I do understand why people would wait an hour for all-you-can-eat dim sum, yes).

How many posts feature some text like "The nice people next to us were getting plastered"? Most of them. And this is another one. The difference here is that they were drinking shokoshu, the aged, sweetened Chinese 'wine' that you can get in the grocery store around the corner for Y300 a bottle (Y500 if you want the good stuff). Between full bottles and halves , the three of them went through 3 bottles while we were there - but they preceded and outlasted us.

No Chinese meal is complete without 'spinach', whatever it really is. They actually put sufficient quantities of pepper in this, as well as something gelatinous (probably porky) that helped the taste.

Fried gyoza, meh. Doughy, not spicy, tasteless filling. If this is the Chinese style then it's yet another thing that the Japanese have perfected. (For gyoza perfection, cf Kameido Gyoza).

Shumai. I liked how big they were, and I think mixed shrimp and pork, and I didn't think much aside from that.

Boiled gyoza; oddly a bit better than the fried ones, maybe because the skin, unfried, was less doughy.

The drunks at the next table had some duck, and our two goals in Chinatown had been dim sum and duck. We made good on the duck goal with this plate, and it wasn't bad, but sorta deficient on every score - skin not that crisp, meat not that tasty. Ehhh, it wasn't that bad. I just don't like gnawing on pieces of carcass, you know?

Oh, I forgot to get a picture of the sholompo, which were probably the best among the dumplings for me.

Anyway, cheap and reasonable. Who can tell with these places?

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