Tokyo-based chain Jin Din Rou (京鼎樓) serves fantastic Chinese soup dumplings (Xiaolongbao, or shoronpo in Japanese).
The 13 Jin Din Rou restaurants are “soup dumpling cafes”, each with a chic interior only surpassed by their delicious food. 3 are near Ebisu station in Tokyo. They’ve got another 10, including Ikebukuro, Yokohama, Odaiba, Kawasaki, and even Taipei.
I’m told the owner used to work at the famous Din Tai Fung in Taipei.
Here we’re featuring the “Jin Din Rou Bar” in Ebisu. Alongside their signature soup dumplings, they blend Chinese and Italian cuisine. This makes for some interesting dishes.
The Deal for Lunch
Their weekday lunch deal is 1,000 Yen and on weekends it’s 1,200 Yen. For lunch you get an antipasto, soup dumplings, and a main dish.
On weekends for the antipasto you can choose:
Steamed chicken salad with sesame seed dressing
Smoked pork salad with Caesar dressing
Marinated octopus salad (below)
The Soup Dumplings
The xiaolongbao soup dumplings are the star of the show but the main dishes are also excellent. They’re also quite unique.
The money shot
The Main Dishes
3 of their main dishes are pictured below, in order of appearance:
Dandanmen Noodles (pronounced “tantanmen” in Japanese)
Cheese Mapo (spicy chili sauce) Rice Bowl
Harami (Tender Cut) Steak Rice Bowl
Mapo flavors with Cheese – East Meets West
Again, this place is excellent. Lunch comes with a lot of food, and not just amazing soup dumplings.
Please note that as of Dec. 2017, they’ve closed down this particular shop of Jin Din Rou. But they’re still doing well and have 2 shops in Ebisu, including their flagship, with map below.
Train Station: Ebisu (Yamanote, Hibiya, Saikyo, Shonan Shinjuku Lines)
Here’s the Tabelog link to their other Ebisu cafe: Ebisu “Hanare”