Yamato-ya：The spirit of the chef who brings out the full flavour of locally grown vegetables!
Rich, fragrant, and not to mention delicious, Chinese style cooking.
Chinese cuisine made using freshly picked local vegetables, carefully prepared with no chemical seasoning, is yours to enjoy at ‘Yamatoya’.
The sweet flour paste, chilli oil and other seasoning used in their ‘tantanmen’ noodles (¥864) are all made with their own homegrown ingredients.
Which is precisely why the scent of their delicious soup stirs your appetite so effectively.
You can practically taste the nutrition in their flavourful and rich soup, with its deliciously balanced blend of shrimp and niku miso.
This deep flavour is testament to the luxurious ingredients that its made with.
With just one nibble of their gyoza (¥432 for 5) you’ll experience a taste explosion, thanks in no small part to the overwhelming flavour of the Kagoshima kurobuta pork used to make it.
The extraordinary synergy between their gyoza and their homemade chilli oil is all thanks to the skill used to create them from scratch.
When we asked the chef & owner Shinji Yamato, who once boasted some popularity in Shirokane, Ebisu, about his unique approach to cooking, he replied
“I’ve never really thought that I have anything like that going on”
with a hearty laugh.
“Being able to eat in peace is a kind of deliciousness of its own isn’t it?
So I just kind of naturally started trying to make tasty food that people can enjoy in comfort.”
Within his menu of orthodox Chinese dishes such as tantanmen, gyoza and chicken soba, Yamato packs his “natural” style into every dish.
Plenty of customers make their way to ‘Yamatoya’ by train to taste the tantanmen noodles there.
It’s a 5 minute ride from JR Fujino Station via the bus bound for Yamanami Onsen.
It’s just a short walk from the ‘Suginishi’ bus stop before the sight of the white building, with its tantanmen banner fluttering in the wind, comes into view.
The austere interior of the shop, reminiscent of a local diner, contains 2 tatami rooms that seat 4 people each, making it a bright and easygoing place for parents to bring their children along for a meal.
If you make reservations in advance you can order Mr. Yamato’s special Chinese full course dinner and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a catering service and more.
The number of customers making reservations for the full course meal on holidays is going up too.
The weekday timetable (2pm-5pm) is designated as ‘cafe time’, and the place is usually bustling with locals chatting away at that time.
They have a fully stocked sweets menu too, which features homemade soft serve ice cream, parfaits and other sweet treats for you to enjoy.
There’s also a special ‘self-sufficient clothing’ store set up on the 2nd floor called ‘Kurashite’ (pictured).
They host workshops with no set schedule where you can experience the joy of working with your hands, so you should definitely stop by and take a look sometime.
“The people of Fujino are all masters at finding their own fun in life, and being able to interact with them at my store is a really great source of inspiration for me.
I’ll keep working to bring even more people here in the future so that my customers can all just hang out and enjoy themselves together.”
There’s no doubt that the spirit and character of Mr. Yamato really draws people to his establishment.