Koco Eats Ramen with Bear friend.
Locals are familiar with the Yokohama station’s built-in mall and its nearby compound, mainly concentrating on the West Exit.
There are many cafes and restaurants, food courts that allure you by its bright and shiny décor, and comfy sofas and chairs for you to enjoy your meal and spend quality time savoring every minute with your friends or family.
….However today, we came here to do just the opposite.
Maybe we want to punish ourselves, or maybe we are way underdressed and less fashionable to mingle in the Yokohama folk.
Our goal is simple.
Cheap and delicious food.
Entering the endless dungeon that is called the “Diamond Underground Mall” aka JOINUS, we dive into the depths to where even the locals get lost from time to time.
There IS an information booth when you go down to enter this labyrinth, but the gal at the service counter nor the paper map would help you.
So just follow your instinct, or better your nose for a delicious ramen and broth scent.
If you’re lucky, you might just find a tiny Chinese restaurant that has customers lining up all the way across the bathroom area.
This popular place is called “RyuMai,” and has been here since the beginning of time…or at least for me.
“Ryu” is 龍 in Japanese meaning “dragon,” and “Mai” is 味 most likely the Chinese meaning “taste.”
So let us get a taste of that dragon here, in this dead end of the dungeon!
Look for this sign, and lots of “salarymen” lining up especially during the lunch hours, you know this is the spot you’re looking for.
The restaurant staffs usually take your order when you are in line; that is because the whole menu is displayed for all the people waiting to get a cheap and tasty meal.
Here is what you see on the right hand when you get in line.
Notice the price on these bad boys!
They haven’t changed their menu price in over a decade, even through times of inflation.
Alas, they had to make minor changes such as 10 yen plus to their menu recently….but they show their pride by explaining it and apologizing in the sign below.
Since you already have placed your order when you were in line, your meal is served immediately when you sit down with a glass of icy water.
You also notice that the restaurant is very small, and people even share tables to have their tasty meal.
Nonetheless, this place is more of like a “healthy-fast-food” joints where nobody talks or lingers when they’re eating their order.
There are about 8 chefs cooking what seems like flambés, but not to worry, it’s just some woks catching fire.
If you want the full action right before your eyes, be sure to come alone, or with another friend to sit at the counter table.
We ordered one of their most popular plates, “gyoza (Chinese dumplings),” “Sanmar-men,” and “Fried rice.”
The Chinese dumplings are a staple of this restaurant, and you can order 5 of them for just 270 yen!
Fresh chopped up garlic and minced pork spreads when you take a bite, and the soy sauce and vinegar perfectly compliment the flour wrapper adding original flavor.
The Sanmar-men is actually originated in this very area, Yokohama.
(When I say men, it means “noodles” in Japanese, not male homo sapiens.)
Its main characteristic is Chinese bean sprouts with other vegetables, and pork all mixed in a rich thick sauce topped on noodles.
Be careful when you take your first bite, because this sauce is burning hot, keeping the noodles warm for a long time.
You might want to cool it down by letting the air hit the noodles and sauce when you scoop them up with your chopstick.
Needless to say, the broth and the soup are excellent as well.
Not too salty, not overly sour (like Chinese cuisines tend to be in Japan) and it just makes you wanting more for another sip.
Lastly, the fried rice had seasoning, right amount of meat chunks, boiled fish paste, vegetables, and eggs in perfect harmony.
The rice was well fried and not sticky at all, which requires skill when making them.
One might say the fried rice of “OhSho” is better, but I must be honest, I seriously cannot make that call.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is also important in your experience when eating in RyuMai.
The staffs communicate in what seems to be Chinese, but I might be wrong.
Nonetheless, your ears will catch spell-like instructions or yells flying over your head when you dine.
If you pay close attention, the most ordered meals are “Gyoza,” “Sanmar-men,” “Chow Mien,” and “Paiko-men.”
Chow Mien may sound familiar to you, since Panda Express in the states have the same thing.
However, you can experience RyuMai’s version of it, and it will surprise you how deep and complex a simple plate of fried noodles can be.
Paiko-men (again, we are not eating human) is another form or ramen just like Sanmar-men, but it has fried pork ribs on top of noodles.
It’s as if KFC and BBQ had a major mashup….but in a delicious way.
They pour starched sauce on top of the fried pork, making them rich in flavor when blending with the ramen soup that is beneath it.
The check will always surprise you, because you get both your stomach and wallet satisfied.
Some of the prices of their menu:
Gyoza (Chinese dumpling) 5 pcs : 270 yen
Ramen : 380 yen
Sanmar-men : 450 yen
Wang-tong men : 500yen
Miso Ramen : 500 yen
Fried Rice : 600 yen
Chow Mein : 450 yen
Paiko-men : 700 yen
Cha-shu men : 600 yen
Chicken ramen : 600 yen
Onion ramen : 600 yen
Each is a full meal, but you also can get sets that are super reasonable.
If you want to get lost in an underground dungeon, but still want to get a reward for it, or if you accidentally stumble upon this beautiful Chinese oasis, there’s nothing RyuMai could go wrong with.
Address : Ekinia Yokohama 1-1-8 Kita-Saiwai, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Kangawa Pref.
Zip : 220-0004
Telephone : 045-311-2498
Our story in Japanese: 龍味 横浜のおススメラーメン屋さん 持ち帰りもアリ！ http://puchipura.info/archives/219