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Chin Chin Tei/Musashi Sakai


Chin Chin Tei serves one of the best abura soba (油そば) dishes in Tokyo. Basically a cheap, tiny cafeteria-like room in a nondescript building about 15 mins walk from Musashi Sakai station on the JR Chuo line, it always has a large number of people lined up in front of it, according to one of the people I was on line with. The woman will open up the window on the side of the building and ask you what your order is (e.g. "shou abura soba") while you are waiting. Their abura soba, actually the "chashu" abura soba, comes with a generous portion of pork, plain but decent noodles, and an excellent oily porky broth. The large is actually almost comparable to the Jiro "dai" so be warned. You have to be careful when you mix it all around so that the parts don't go flying. Black pepper recommended. The staff is very friendly and chatted with me in (easy) Japanese while I waited for my meal. Probably don't get too many Westerners there. They also have regular chukka soba on the menu too.

Liking (as I do) to combine multiple targets in one region on one run, on the way back to the station from Chin Chin Tei I stopped at a place called Hao Hao (好好). This place's Shisen sui gyoza were also written up in the June 09 edition of Dancyu magazine. While the gyoza were quite good, with a spicy peanutty sauce, the service was not as polite as Chin Chin Tei's that day, the Chinese owner (notice the Chinese flag out front in the pictures) must have had something in for Westerners that day. As for this place, enter at your own risk.

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