This is a long overdue review of Pyo Pyo, one of my favorite restaurant in Fukuyama. My visit recent visit to Shikiko reminded me that I had never written about this fine Taiwan restaurant.
Pyo Pyo is no where near the station, but I can assure you it’s worth the trip.
Good Asian food is far too rare in Japan. If you don’t live in Japan, you might think that since Japan is so close to the rest of Asia that you can find the most amazing food from all corners of Asia, but this could not be further from the truth. Asian food in Japan is victim of a systematic japanification of the the taste to please the local palate, thank God it’s not the case at Pyo Pyo!
I’ve been to Taiwan and as far as I am concern, Pyo Pyo offers something pretty close to the original in a weird kitschy decor. Don’t expect Pyo Pyo to be feature in Architectural Digest, but to be honest with you, I would eat this food if it came of a street stall.
According to my wife, the place is rated pretty high on Japanese sites, when you eat there, you will know why.
Pyo Pyo’s specialty is toshomen which is a type of hand made noodle which originated from the Shanxi province of China. I don’t know what is the link with Taiwan, but with something that good, I don’t really care. Toshomen means “knife-cut noodles” and Pyo Pyo has a noodle making station right by the door.
Toshomen are similar to udon except for the part where the ball of dough is shaved into boiling water by shaving the noodles by hand. The noodles are a bit thicker, irregular in shape, chewier and they have a very particular bite to them.
I’ve been to Pyo Pyo a bunch of times and I have yet to find something I didn’t like. The restaurant is plastered with pics and the menu is easy to navigate. If you have a big appetite, their set menus are a great deal. The fried chicken is made to order and you can add chicken and rice to any dish on the menu for a small fee.
One of my favorite is a simple spicy veggies and ground beef toshomen dish which is purely addictive. It’s like yaki-udon on crack and trust me, it will be hard to resist after you try it. It’s actually spicy, a spice level which would make most Japanese uncomfortable.
I also tried their offal stir fry which was right on the money. Soft horumon is something you can’t get enough.
The Taiwan ramen is another reason to visit Pyo Pyo, their ramen noodles were simply extraordinary. They set the bar really high with that one.
Another favorite of mine is the toshomen spicy soup.
It looks spicy and it’s spicy!!! The veggies are great and the soup is meaty. It’s the perfect winter meal.
Pyo Pyo is all about the food and the taste. The decor sucks but the staff in the kitchen obviously know what they are doing.
There are many things I haven’t tried yet on the menu, but I am sure that I will be going back there for the years to come.
Fukuyama might not be the most exciting places in Japan, but I am happy to have found this place. Do you have a Fukuyama favorite?