Waryu Yakimanju, Akasaka 和龍 赤坂 焼饅頭店

Waryu Yakimanju is a plainly decorated izakaya located in Akasaka serving what I would describe as Japanese/ Chinese fusion dishes. The staff appear to be all Chinese which often promises great food in my experience - I am not a fan of Japanese "Chuka ryori", finding it lacking in taste and character. The name of this restaurant literally means the "Japanese Dragon's Fired Dumplings", and these are the speciality of the house. On a recent visit a friend and I drank two large beers and ate till we were satisfied getting out of it for around 4,000 yen each, which is excellent value considering the delicious food. The first dish we were served was a complimentary daikon, which was coloured pink and served in a sweet sauce, but the surprise was the bitter-sweet citrus peel that came with it. It is a way of serving daikon that I haven't seen before and I felt it worked really well. We ordered some dishes to follow, the first being a pork kakuni (belly) with Chinese green vegetables, which was rich, smooth and sweet and had just the right amount of fat. Foreigners are often put off by the thought of eating pork belly as it has so much fat, but I don't think a moderate amount will hurt you.

This was followed by a stir-fry of scallops with vegetables and chili, and what made this special was the citrus infused ankake sauce. It was the nicest stir-fry I have had in a long time. Then we moved on to the speciality of the house which is the dumplings. The prawn dumplings came on a bowl of hot stones and were made of pastry with black sesame on top. The pork dumplings came completely covered with a sheet of crunchy, paper-thin egg batter on top that you ate with the dumplings. By the time we had polished those off we were full as googs! Even though it doesn't sound like a huge amount of food, what we ate was actually very filling. One warning I would make is that most of the dishes seems to have a very high fat content, so moderation would be the best policy when eating here and I would not come here if you're on a diet. However if you don't feel too guilty and need a splurge then I'd go for it. It's a great place for a friendly catch up with a friend or colleague or a group of either.

Tel: 03-3586-1855

和龍 焼饅頭店は赤坂にある居酒屋スタイルのレストランで、和食と中華を組み合わせたようなお料理です。店員はみなさん中国の方のようで、私の経験から地元の人が作った料理がやはり一番おいしいです。一般にいう「日本の中華料理」は個人的にあまり好みではなく、味や特徴に欠けているような気がしますがこのレストランはちがいますね。レストランの名前でもある和龍 焼饅頭は、このお店の「目玉」でもあります。この日は、友人と二人でビールを大ジョッキで二杯飲み、満足がいくまで食べ続けて一人4,000円でした。十分価値のあるお食事ができたと思います。最初に突き出しとしてスイートソースをつかったピンクの大根。その大根と一緒に盛り付けられたシトラスの皮は、これまでに味わったことがなかったほろ苦さで絶品でした。このあとに、豚の角煮と中国青菜はぜいたくな味にもかかわらず、口当たりのよい甘味がきいていて、よく脂肪をおさえているなという味でした。よく外国人に角煮は脂肪分が多く、食べないという人がいますが適度の脂肪は逆に体によいと思います。


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