Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snacking in Chinatown

I'm so, so, soooooooo behind on my posts... :X I've been moving. No, not moving blogs, moving house. Yes, again. Nowhere far, just upstairs to the second floor of the same building but wow, so much work T.T I will post pictures later when the new apartment is all set up and ready.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of me and hubby wandering around Yokohama Chinatown on the 3rd day of Lunar New Year (Saturday, February 5). It was insanely crowded with everyone bumping into each other and crazy long lines every where. But it was also really fun and the atmosphere was filled with excitement ^.^ There were special shows and whatnot, but we didn't go. We were mostly snacking about town, finding the longest line to get in on what everyone's eating LOL!

Some lion's heads display for the kiddies at the Information Center, right inside the Chinatown East Gate (I think...). Apparently you can put one on and take pictures, but I didn't want to make any kids cry...

So instead I just posed as my normal self next to the lion and dragon dance costumes display.

Of course, the most popular snack in Chinatown is the steamed buns (包子, 肉まん, bánh bao), which came in various meat and seafood fillings, then roasted chestnuts, which on any particular trip you will be pestered at least several times into trying one, then sesame balls (煎堆, ごまだんご, bánh cam), then boba tea (珍珠奶茶, タピオカティー), then almond jelly (杏仁豆腐) or mango jelly flavored desserts.

And then there are these delicious soup dumplings. Of course some places have better soup dumplings than others, but in general the soup dumplings I've had here are so much better than those I've had at home. Forget lining up for the so-dubbed (or was it self-dubbed?) "famous" soup dumplings at the NYC Joe's Shanghai, the soup dumplings at Yokohama Chinatown blows Joe's out of the water (does that sound vulgar or is it just me?).

Blame my bad experience at Joe's, but their soup dumplings were flavorless, scalding hot (burned my tongue!), and the soup broth inside the dumplings were greasy and murky from the meat's runoff. In contrast, the soup dumplings I've had at Yokohama Chinatown at several different places all had clear broth inside, all were just the right temperature, steaming hot but not scalding, and all were flavorful enough to skip the vigenary soy sauce.

Pan fried version of the soup dumplings. I definitely like this version better while hubby liked the steamed ones. Who are you kidding? It's fried!!!

Anyway, as if we didn't have enough of the crowd, we returned the weekend after (Friday, February 11) when my sister came in town for a day trip with 2 of her friends. That Friday was a holiday, but the weather was terrible with snow and sludgy rain. Didn't stop anyone though, apparently, as Chinatown was business as usual and so crowded we had to wait in line 1+ hour for our all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at Ko-cho.

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