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Chinese Cafe Eight

I was looking through a guide of late night places in Tokyo and Chinese Cafe Eight was on the list. I had wanted to check it out just a couple of weeks before I read it was open 24 hours when I passed by it with some friends so I finally went and checked it out.

I wish I had found this place 3 years ago. Finally real Chinese food in Japan! I've harped on this before but Chinese food in Japan is nearly as disappointing as Panda Express is in the states. Sure, I know some people like Panda Express which is fine but it's Americanized Chinese. Here in Japan most Chinese food has similarly been Japanified and is no longer really Chinese.

Well, I can thankfully report that Chinese Cafe Eight is real Chinese. Of course at first that was just my opinion from comparing it to the good Chinese restaurants I miss from Los Angeles so in other words I wasn't 100% sure it was real but it was what I liked. But then, I met a lady from Hong Kong who has been living in Japan for 6 years and she said she had completely given up on Chinese food in Japan and just stopped even trying to find anything good. I told her about this place that I thought was good although I explained I only had LA Chinese food to compare to. Well, she decided to take and chance and thankfully she confirmed what I'm telling you. It's real Chinese. She was very happy :-)

Even more than that, for Tokyo it's super cheap. One other problem with most Tokyo Chinese restaurants is they are so expensive that you can't eat a real Chinese meal where you order lots of different things and have a little of each. Not so here. They have a giant menu and reasonable prices. For example one of the first things on their menu is sui-gyoza (sorry, I don't know the Chinese word for gyoza 餃子). They have 26 different kinds and they are 3 to a plate, one plate is 100yen! Yea, you heard that right. 1 plate 100 yen. Any other place in Tokyo would likely be 1 plate 400-600 yen.

There are probably a few other things I could tell you about but it's best you find those out on your own.;-)

Chinese Cafe Eight is behind Roppongi Hills directly across from Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel.

  • albertSFBayArea

    You’re so right about most Chinese food in Japan being not authentic and super expensive. Thanks for the tip! BTW, I’ve found dim sum places in Tokyo to be pretty good, but still expensive.

  • http://blog.greggman.com greggman
    where’s the good dim sum?

    I haven’t found any good dim sum in Tokyo and that includes Chinatown which actually has some of the worst Chinese food I’ve ever had and that’s after going to about 8 different restaurants down there.

    The problems with dim sum in Tokyo which I’m sure I mentioned somewhere on this site before are (1) it’s too expensive so you can’t afford lots of different items which is half the point (2) it’s slow.  In real dim sum you sit down, the carts come by, you point to what you want and your table is full of 8 to 20 items of different stuff in like 5 minutes.  In a Japanese dim sim place you order from a menu, the items come one at a time :-( (3) Japanese dim sum places serve dim sum with soy sauce and mustard, Chinese places serve with chili sauce and mustard.  If it’s missing any one of these things it’s not dim sum at least not for me.

    The best I’ve found is this place, Kowloon Ten Shin at MyCity in Shinjuku.  It’s 2500 all you can eat you can get lots of different items.  It’s not the best but they do have carts and you can fill your table quick.  They still only have soy sauce and mustard but I just bring my own chili sauce.  That’s as close as I’ve gotten to real dim sum here in Tokyo.

    Still, 2500 yen per person for dim sim is double what I’d pay in HK or LA.

  • dma
    gyoza

    Gyoza in Chinese are jiaozi. The normal pan-fried variety are better called guotie (鍋貼), which is where we get the word “potstickers” from.

    The best sarariman greasy spoon gyoza can be had at at 餃子の王将 (Gyoza King), 210 yen for 6. There are shops throughout Japan. Go on a Friday when beer is half price.

    http://www.ohsho.co.jp

  • wlng
    actually…

    The best dim sum I’ve ever had in my life was in Hong Kong where there were no carts. Everything is ordered, so you have to go with someone who knew the Cantonese names for all the dishes, or at least be able to understand the Chinese menu…

    Actually a lot of the dim sum places I went to in Hong Kong didn’t really have carts, so I’m not so tied into the idea that carts = authentic dim sum…

  • http://blog.greggman.com greggman
    HK dim sum

    Hmmm, I went to HK and saw the cart places all over the place.  Of course that doesn’t mean they were the best :-p 

    I wonder if it’s kind of like hamburgers meaning that I generally consider a hamberger something your order over a counter but you can still go to a fancy restaurant and get a hamburger.

  • Fred

    I am from Hong Kong and of course I know Hong Kong got the best dim dum at the world. But don’t despair, I found this place to be equally good in Shinbashi:

    http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g828000/index.htm

    I only went at lunch at Saturday so I am not sure if the offering are the same at night, but anyway it’s the best dim sum I had in Tokyo.

  • http://blog.greggman.com greggman

    Looking at their menu they have the 3900yen course, the 6300yen course and the 6800 yen course.  It hope it’s good because in LA I’d get get out for about 1200yen.

  • http://blog.greggman.com greggman
    Lunch

    I found out today that Chinese Cafe Eight has a lunch time menu and there are only about 12 sets on it.  You can’t order from the normal large menu.  Of course it was still good but I’d prefer to giant night time menu.

  • Tokkim
    English map

    Here is a nice English map of the restaurant. Looks great on your phone. Good for showing or sending it to someone.

    http://gmap.jp/shop-2864.html

  • http://www.mfreres.com JRB
    Great Place

    This place is great, I live in Moto Azabu and work late from home so a cheap close chinese place is great.  The decor is hilarious, breasts everywhere.

  • http://www.vaou.com fooger
    Fav Dim Sum house

    I used to love Le Parc in Ebisu (http://www.vaou.com/viewRestaurant.do?objectId=285) but since HK tea house (http://www.vaou.com/viewRestaurant.do?objectId=174) had the all you can eat dim sum for less than 3,000 yen and with real HK quality, I have not been back to “le parc”. if u like Dim Sum. check it out. And let me know what u think!

    cheers,