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2010-05-04

HuTongSanRaKyo/Roppongi
胡同三辣居/六本木



The Chinese word "hutong" (胡同) refers to a kind of narrow neighborhood street in certain Chinese cities such as Beijing. I wasn't able to find a hutong with the above name on any Beijing map (I have a couple from trips to mainland China), but I'm not an expert and my search was by no means exhaustive. This shop HuTongSanRaKyo is actually owned by the Kiwa Group, a large holding company of numerous Chinese and related restaurants in Japan, and they also own the former Dragon Hanten, now dubbed the "HutongSiFang" (胡同四坊) in Ebisu, which is very good and does a very respectable suratanmen and Sichuan pepper chicken among other things. The only thing I had at HuTongSanRaKyo was their suratanmen and it was a different experience - extremely thick and almost sludgy, with a much darker color than other suratanmens, a large amount of black vinegar, that's their standard way of making it. Taste and consistency not dissimilar to the "black vinegar pork" dish seen at many Chinese places. It took so long to cool down (because it is so thick that it retains the heat for so long) that I wasn't able to finish it. The noodles are buried at the bottom and took some effort to excavate to the surface. Too much of an experience for me - although the place filled up very quickly at lunch time and the service was quick and attentive.

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