4 Chinese Foods to Try in Kobe’s Chinatown

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  • Kobe Chinatown is also known as 南京町 (Nankinmachi), translated as Nanjing Town from Chinese. The town is located only a 3-minute walk from Motomachi Station, Kobe. You can get to this station from Osaka by taking either the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line or the JR Kobe Line Hanshin train from Umeda Station (this takes around 40-50 minutes).

    If you have never been to any Chinatowns before this could be an eye-opening experience for you. There is an endless amount of food stalls around, which I personally find the very definition of happiness.

    In this article, I will share the 4 dishes that my friend and I tried, and our opinions on them.

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    1. Noodles

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    Our first stop was at a noodle stall, and to our surprise the food was extremely cheap! All the noodles were below 500 yen per bowl, and they actually offered a version with (usually expensive) shark fin as well. If you are interested in having their exotic shark-fin hot or cold noodles, please try it and tell your friends how good it was! Pictured above is what we bought.

    You can choose to have either hot or cold broth. We both had the cold style and let me tell you, it was a great decision. These noodles were absolutely delightful! The broth was super light but flavourful. The 担々麺 (Tantanmen) was not as spicy as we expected it to be, but it was not as sweet as Japanese food usually tends to be. There was a slight hint of heat in every spoon we took, but the burning sensation was not overwhelming. If you are not so much of a sucker for spicy food, this dish will definitely satisfy your need. Just like Yin and Yang, the other dish called ちゃあしゅうラーメン(Chaashuu-ramen) had a delightful, cooling taste instead. Both the broth and the pork were perfectly seasoned.

    2. Peking Duck Wrap

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    This was undeniably the highlight of our trip. In the wrap, there was duck meat, vegetables, duck skin and sauce. The composition was simple yet each bite was a like a taste of heaven. The duck skin was roasted till the fatty layer was significantly reduced, leaving a crispy, scrumptious layer behind. That was definitely the best part of the wrap, followed by the sweet homemade sauce.

    3. Pork Belly Bun

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    This was basically a thick slice of pork belly sandwiched in a folded steamed bun. The steamed bun didn’t have any particular flavour, so all the flavor came from the marinated pork belly slice which was not very strong. If you prefer light-seasoned food then this will suit your taste. For us personally, it was not as delicious as we expected it to be, but it was worth a try.

    4. Shaved Fruits

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    This title is not a typo, this lovely dessert was indeed not made of plain, tasteless ice. Oh no, the whole thing was made of frozen fruits, and frozen fruits only! I can guarantee that the fruity flavor is fruity to the extreme! There are no fake or chemical flavorings. You can choose to top it with condensed milk, strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce, and one cup costs 500 yen. It might seem a bit pricey, but with the amount of fruit it contains it’s totally worth it.

    I recommend going there to get a great taste of Chinese cuisine. However, if you are very familiar with Chinese food this might not completely live up to your expectations. The main drawback for Chinese food vets is that there is not too much variation in the dishes. The street food is delicious, but all the stalls sell the exact same things throughout the whole street. Nevertheless, it is a good place to spend around 1 to 2 hours and grab a great lunch!

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