XI'AN (Yurakucho)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 23.2012 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 2 comments 0 trackback
xian outside
When I used to work near Shinbashi, once a week I ate at a Chinese noodle shop which served knife-shaved noodles and cooked them right in front of you. These noodles are called Tohshomen and the shop is XI'AN at Yurakucho.

xian マーラー麺
My favorite noodle soup is MAARAA-TOHSHOMEN (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Spicy Chili Oil Soup) for 700 yen. Its not that spicy for real spicy food lovers like me, but if you're not one it will be.

xian 麺
The noodles are flat, wider and shorter than regular chinese noodles or ramen noodles.

If you want something less spicier, but there is TANTAN-TOHSHOMEN (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Szechuan Style Sesame Soup) for 700 yen. Its still a little spicy and is good for beginners.

xian 酸辣刀削麺
If you like hot and sour soup, there is SANRAA-TOHSHOMEN (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Hot and Sour Soup) for 700 yen.

xian 排骨刀削麺
And there is PAA-KOH-TOSHOMEN (Pork Rib & Knife-Shaved Noodle Soup) for 900 yen, which isn't spicy at all.

xian ザーザイご飯
Many customers order ZAHSAI GOHAN (Szechwan Pickles over Rice) for 200 yen with noodles.

xian 鉄鍋餃子
For side dishes they offer XI'AN-FU YAKI GYOZA (X'ian Style Pan Fried Gyoza) for 400 yen. These prices are for lunch and all dishes become 150 yen more expensive during dinner hours.

xian ショーロンポー
They have various side dishes for dinner time like XI'AN XIAOLONGBAO (Xi'an Style Soup Duppling) for 600 yen.

xian 麻辣火鍋
For dinner, they serve MAARAA-HINABE (Spicy Hot Pot) for 2,630 yen per person. It comes with various meats, seafood and vegetables. The hot pot soup is comes in two flavors. Extra spicy and none spicy. It is the most common eaten hot pot in China.

xian 刀削麺
If you want to have real Chinese style knife-shaved noodles, Xi'an is one of the few places that I recommend in Tokyo. There are multiple locations in Tokyo, so check their website and find one near where you are.

xian inside

XI’AN (in Japanese, 西安 有楽町店)
Address: 1-2-7 Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都千代田区有楽町1-2-7)
Nearest train station: JR Yuraku-cho (2 min walk) or Tokyo Metro Hibiya (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3503-2525
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.gnavi.co.jp/xian/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Saturday 11am-2pm 5:30pm-10pm,
Sunday & Holidays 11am-2:30pm 5pm-9pm
Closed: None

Prices: Maaraa-Tohshomen (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Spicy Chili Oil Soup) Dinner 850 yen Lunch 700 yen
Tantan-Tohshomen (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Szechuan Style Sesame Soup) Dinner 850 yen Lunch 700 yen
Sanraa-Tohshomen (Knife-Shaved Noodle in Hot and Sour Soup) Dinner 850 yen Lunch 700 yen
Paa-Koh-Toshomen (Pork Rib & Knife-Shaved Noodle Soup) Dinner 1,050 yen Lunch 900 yen
Xi'an-Fu Yaki Gyoza (X'ian Style Pan Fried Gyoza) Dinner 520 yen Lunch 400 yen
Zahsai Gohan (Szechwan Pickles over Rice) 200 yen (available for lunch only)
Han Chahan (Fried Rice Half Size) 300 yen (available for lunch only)
Maaraa-Hinabe (Spicy Hot Pot) 2,630 yen (available for dinner only)
Xi'an Xiaolongbao (Xi'an Soup Duppling) 600 yen (available for dinner only)
Other dishes for lunch are between 200-880 yen and for dinner 430-3,380 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 01.2012 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 1 comments 0 trackback
京鼎樓 outside
The first xiaolongbao restaurant which opened in Tokyo was the famous Din Tai Fung from Taipai, but another famous xiaolongbao restaurant from Taipei which opened in Ebisu several years ago is JINDINROU.

京鼎樓 小籠包
Xiaolongbao is a small steamed pork bun with soup inside. The proper way of eating it is to open the bun a little bit and drink some of the soup inside first and then eat the bun. Unless you can't eat pork I have never met a person who didn't enjoy it, especially at Jindinrou. XIAOLONGBAO is 790 yen for 6 pieces and 1,250 yen for 10 pieces.

京鼎樓 烏龍茶小籠包
The regular xiaolongbao is the most popular, but the bum also comes in Oolong tea flavor which is called OOLONG CHA XIAOLONGBAO for 950 yen.

京鼎樓 魚翅海鮮小籠包
They also have shark's fin xialongbao, which is FUKAHIRE XIAOLONBAO, 6 pieces 1,450 yen.

京鼎樓 海老蒸し餃子
Other dim sum's like EBI MUSHI GYOZA (Steamed shrimp gyoza) for 950 yen,

京鼎樓 糯米焼売
MOCHIGOME SHUMAI (Steamed sticky rice shumai) for 950 yen to name a few.

京鼎樓 口水鶏
Besides these dim sum's, they have many other dishes like YODAREDORI (Cold steamed chicken with spicy sauce) for 800 yen,

京鼎樓 開洋介蘭菜
TAIWAN YASAI NO HOSHI EBI ITAME (Stir fired Taiwan vegetables with dry shrimp) for 950 yen,

京鼎樓 蠣油白霊茸

京鼎樓 酸辣湯
SU RAH TAN (Sweet and sour soup) for 750 yen,

京鼎樓 上海風やきそば
or if you want some rice or noodles, SHANGHAI FUU YAKISOBA (Shangahai style chow mein) for 1,100 yen is good,

京鼎樓 蟹肉炒飯
KANI TO LETTUCE NO CHAHAN (Crab meat & lettuce fried rice) for 1,500 yen and many other dishes are available, too.

京鼎樓 乳黄大包
They do have some Chinese desserts like CUSTARD MAN (Steamed custard cream bun) for 550 yen.

京鼎樓 inside
I personally like Jindinrou more than Din Tai Fung because of the variety of food they have besides xiaolongbao. But no matter what, you must order their regular xiaolongbao when dining at Jindinrou. I'm sure you would enjoy it

京鼎樓 小籠包用の刻み生姜

JINDINROU (in Japanese, 京鼎樓)
Address: 4-3-1 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (2F)
(in Japanese, 渋谷区恵比寿4-3-1 2F)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Ebisu (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-5795-2255
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://jin-din-rou.net/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Sunday & Holiday 11:30am-3:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Closed: Dec.31-Jan.3

Prices: Xiaolongbao 6 pieces 790 yen, 10 pieces 1,250 yen
Oolong Xiaolongbao 6 pieces 950 yen
Kani Xiaolongbao 6 pieces 1,250 yen
Fukahire Xiaolongbao (Shark's fin) 6 pieces 1,450 yen
Ebi Mushi Gyoza (Steamed shrimp gyoza) 6 pieces 950 yen
Other dishes from 500-2,000 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 04.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
全聚徳 outside
There are many famous Chinese restaurants from mainland China which opened branches in Tokyo over the last 10 years. When you go to Beijing a must meal is Peking Duck and the most famous restaurant in Beijing also has 2 locations in Tokyo as well. That restaurant is ZENSHUTOKU in Shinjuku and Ginza.

全聚徳 duck whole
Zenshutoku in Beijing has been used by the Chinese government to entertain VIP's visiting China including former American presidents like Nixon, Bush and many other politicians.

全聚徳 inside 1
PEKING DUCK is a roasted duck and the chef will bring out the duck and carve it right in front of your table.

全聚徳 half duck carved
Half of the duck will have meat and skin together

全聚徳 duck skin sugar
and the other half will only have the skin carved off.

全聚徳 duck soup
After the meat and skin is carved off, it will be brought back to the kitchen and they will make duck soup out of whatever was remaining.

全聚徳 how to make enlarge
With the carved duck on your table, waiter or waitress will wrap the duck for you in a thin pancake with spring onions and sweet sauce called Hosin sauce or Tenmenjan in Japanese.

全聚徳 duck rapped
And you just eat it using your fingers. Unless you don't like duck or a vegetarian, I have never met a person who didn't enjoy this.

北京ダック 胡麻付きパイ
You can also have the duck in a pie with vegetables.

全聚徳 appitizer
Here are some of the other dishes which maybe included in the course. ASSORTED APPETIZERS,

全聚徳 ebi chili
EBI CHILI (Prawns in Chili Sauce),

全聚徳 annitofu
and for desert usually ANNINDOFU (Almond jelly tofu with syrup) is included.

全聚徳 inside
To be honest besides Peking Duck, the other dishes aren't special especially the expensive ones, but its the best Peking Duck you can have in all of Tokyo. The Peking Duck tastes exactly like the one in Beijing so you are getting the real deal, not a Japanese arranged version. If its your first time here I recommend for you to order a full Peking Duck course menu or if you are familiar with Chinese food, skip the course and order Peking Duck with other dishes you will enjoy from the menu. Zenshutoku is actually the Japanese way of reading Kanji or Chinese characters and the correct way to pronounce their real name in Chinese is QUANJUDE. So, if you plan to eat at their original location at Beijing in the near future, make sure you book Quanjude, not Zenshutoku since there will be no restaurant called Zenshutou.

ZENSHUTOKU (in Japanese, 全聚徳)
Address: 3-32-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Shinjuku T&T Bldg 8th floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区新宿3-32-10 新宿T&Tビル 8F)
Nearest train station: JR Shinjuku (10 min walk) or
Tokyo Metro Shinjuku 3-chome (1 min walk)
Tel: 03-3358-8885
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.zenshutoku.com (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm 5pm-10pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 11:30am-10pm
Closed: December 31 & January 1

Prices: Lunch Course 1,575-6,300 yen
Dinner Course 6,800-28,000 yen

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BANRAIEN (Ooimachi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 15.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
萬来園 outside
If I had to pick one restaurant in all of Tokyo with regarding how old the outside looks & interior inside, but food being equal to any world class restaurant, that would be a family ran Chinese restaurant at Ooimachi called BANRAIEN. During lunch time its your average Japanese style Chinese restaurant where you can find anywhere, but at night you will see corporate owned limos parked right in front of the restaurant. The first time I came here was with one of the board members of the company I was working at that time with his limo and was shocked to see how down to earth the outside looked and the location as well. But what was even more shocking was when I entered the restaurant. I met the CEO of Canon, executives from Toyota only enjoying their food and not talking about business at all.

萬来園 inside
When you walk in there are only about 12 counter seats. There is no menu and chef/owner will ask you if there is anything that you don't like. Next he will start explaining what kind of meat, seafood, and vegetables are available for the night and how it can be cooked. You tell him what you want and how you want it cooked and then the show starts.

萬来園 前菜の盛り合わせ
To give you an example, this is what I had for a dinner one night. Starting with assorted appetizers,

萬来園 海老味噌に漬けた手羽先の唐揚げ
Shrimp miso flavored fried chicken wings,

萬来園 天然車海老の豆板醤炒め
Natural prawns in black bean sauce,

萬来園 白ばい貝の炒め
Stir-fried white clam,

萬来園 セイレンサイの炒め
Stir-fried sairen vegetables,

萬来園 渡り蟹の炒め
Stir-fried crab with chili,

萬来園 ザーサイ(搾菜)と豚肉の炒め
Stir-fried Szechwan pickles and pork,

萬来園 平貝の豆チ蒸し
Steamed flat clam,

萬来園 まこも茸の和牛巻き揚げ豆チ炒め
Makomo mushroom wrapped with wagyu beef in black bean sauce,

萬来園 上海カニ
Steamed Shanghai crab,

萬来園 ターツァイ(搨菜)と干し肉の炒め
Stir-fried Chinese vegetables with dry beef,

萬来園 ずわい蟹のチャーハン
Crab fried rice,

萬来園 マンゴープリン
Mango pudding,

萬来園 杏仁豆腐
Almond pudding.

Even if you become full the chef will keep insisting to have another dish, so you better tell him that you are really full. The price will be somewhere between 15,000-
25,000 yen per person depending on what you eat. So its not affordable at all and you are going here just for the food nothing else, but I have to say that its one of the best Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, and to many the very best.

BANRAIEN (in Japanese, 萬来園)
Address: 5-6-8 Higahi Ooi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都品川区東大井5-6-8)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Ooimachi (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3450-5667
Reservations: Yes (a must)
Website: None
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 5:30pm-9:30pm
Closed: Wednesday & Sunday

Prices: No menu and prices will be between 15,000-25,000 yen per person

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 24.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 2 comments 0 trackback
餃子の王将 outside 1
One of the most well know restaurant chains in Japan is GYOZA-NO OHSHO (usually just called Ohsho). Its a Chinese restaurant, which first opened near one the universities in Kyoto and now there are over 550 locations throughout Japan and over 20 in Tokyo. Ohsho's food is not authentic Chinese food, its Japanese-style Chinese food, affordable to anyone.

餃子の王将 gyoza
Their signature dish is of course is GYOZA for 231 yen. At most Chinese restaurant chains its made at a factory by machine, but Ohsho makes them at each restaurant and you will see one of the chef's constantly making it.

餃子の王将 karaage
Other signature dishes are TORI-NO KARAAGE (Boneless fried chicken) for 525 yen,

餃子の王将 tenshin don
and TENSHINDON (Rice topped with fried egg crab) for 462 yen.

餃子の王将 fried rice
Other notable rice dishes are YAKIMESHI (Fried Rice with roasted pork and egg) for 420 yen,

餃子の王将 chukadon
and CHUKADON (Rice topped with seafood and vegetables) for 462 yen.

餃子の王将 ohsho ramen
They also have a wide range of noodle dishes as well, such as OHSHO RAMEN for 472 yen,

餃子の王将 agesoba
AGESOBA (Hard fried noodle with meat & vegetables) for 577 yen,

餃子の王将 yakisoba
YAKISOBA (Fried noodle with meat & vegetables) for 472 yen.

餃子の王将 livernira
They also have dishes like NIRANIKU ITAME (Sauteed pork & leek) for 472 yen,

餃子の王将 subura
and SUBATA (Sweet and our pork) for 525 yen and about 30 other dishes including various Teishoku (set menu).

餃子の王将 menu
No other restaurant can produce the same quality of food for such a cheap price. Its not only great for students and families, but for anyone who wants to spend less and still have a good Japanese-style Chinese meal. I have been eating here ever since my junior high school days and still enjoy it as I did back then. It just never gets old.

GYOZA-NO OHSHO (in Japanese, 餃子の王将)
Address: 2-10-3 Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-10-3)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shibuya (4 min walk)
Tel: 03-5489-3336
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.ohsho.co.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-10pm
Closed: Undecided

Prices: Gyoza 231 yen
Yakimeshi (Fried Rice with roasted pork and egg) 420 yen
Tenshindon (Rice topped with fried egg crab) 462 yen
Chukadon (Rice topped with seafood and vegetables) 462 yen
Ohsho Ramen 472 yen
Age Soba (Hard fried noodle with meat & vegetables) 577 yen
Subuta (Sweet sour pork) 525 yen
Niraniku Itame (Sauteed pork & leek) 472 yen
Tori-No Karaage (Fried chicken without bone) 525 yen
Other dishes between 300-600 yen
Set menu from 600-1000 yen

There are more than 20 locations in Tokyo.

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 28.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
Ginza has many restaurants which have been around for over 50 yrs and when you want to have Gyoza (Fried Dumplings), GINZA TENRYU is the place to go. To many Ginza lovers and chef's working at other restaurant in Ginza, Tenryu will always be one of their favorite affordable restaurants.

GInza Tenryu is a down to earth Chinese restaurant with many dishes to offer, but most customers will order gyoza with or without a main dish.

The size of Ginza Tenryu's gyoza are huge, double of the size of most restaurants and very juicy inside as well. They sale over 5,000 per day.

天龍 餃子ライス 1120円
If you just want to enjoy gyoza with some rice, just order Gyoza Rice for 1,120 yen. For most people this should be enough at least for lunch.

Yakisoba (Chow mein) is another good dish, and most other dishes are enjoyable as well.

There could be a decent wait during lunch time, but since they have many tables, you shouldn't be waiting more than 20 min at the most. And even if there is a wait, Ginza Tenryu's gyoza are worth the wait.

GINZA TENRYU (in Japanese, 銀座天龍)
Address: 2-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座2-6-1)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Ginza (5 min walk) or Ginza 1-Chome (1 min walk)
Tel: 03-3561-3543
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://g.pia.co.jp/shop/1022  (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-9pm, Sunday & Holidays 11:30am-8pm
Closed: New Years & Obon (Mid August)

Prices: Gyoza (Fried Dumplings) 1,020 yen, Gyoza Rice 1,120 yen
Noodles & Rice dishes between 980-1,800
Other dishes between 600-3,000 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 25.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
nairs outside
NAIR'S RESTAURANT is the first real Indian restaurant in Japan and continues to produce Indian cuisine made from the same recipes that were first offered by its founder, Ayappan Pillai Mhadavan Nair, when it first opened in 1949.

murugi lunch 1500
Over 90% of the customers who come here opt for the restaurants famous Murugi Lunch, a hearty meal that includes mash potato, boiled cabbage and a curry that’s been simmered down along with a leg of chicken (which contains meat so soft that it practically falls off the bone the moment you pick it up) for seven hours.

murugi lunch 1500 2
The recommended way to enjoy this great meal is to grab a spoon and mix everything which includes a portion of turmeric flavoured rice made. You’ll be left with a mix of flavours that melt together to create a taste sensation that perfectly complements both the spicy curry roux and the sweet starch of the rice. Upon their first visit, many customers who haven’t been forewarned of the practice are often taken aback by the suggestion of mixing this curry all together. But sometimes I prefer not to mix everything together. Sorry, Mr. Nair.....

チキンマサラ nile 1450
Other notable dishes are Chicken Masala

maton curry nile 1200
and Mutton Curry. But if its your first visit, I strongly recommend to order Murugi Lunch. I've never ordered anything else.

murugi inside
Don’t be fooled by the name Murugi Lunch because although this unique curry is referred to as a lunch, it can be ordered at anytime throughout the day, and additionally in the evenings as part of a set menu priced at 2,800 yen. Not only is the Murugi Lunch a chicken curry with a taste that can’t be found elsewhere, it’s also a curry that has helped make Nair’s Restaurant one of Tokyo’s most renowned Indian restaurants.

nile outside 3

NAIR'S RESTAURANT (in Japanese, ナイルレストラン)
Address: 4-10-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座4-10-7)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Higashi Ginza
or Toei Subway Asakusa Line Higashi Ginza (1 min walk)
Tel: 03-3541-8246
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.ginza-nair.co.jp/index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday & Wednesday-Saturday 11:30am-9:30pm, Sunday & Holidays 11:30am-8:30pm
Closed: Tuesday

Prices: Murugi Lunch 1,500 yen
Chicken Masala 1,450 yen
Mutton Curry 1,200 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 04.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
FIGHT GYOZA isn't your ordinary Gyoza. The gyoza was invented by a former soldier who came back from China after World War II. He opened a store called WHITE GYOZA, over 50 years ago in Chiba and now has more than 40 stores all over Japan. Fight Gyoza is one of them and for some reason it isn't called White Gyoza, when all the other shops are and is the only franchise close to central Tokyo.

Fight Gyoza's menu is very limited. People come here to only eat Gyoza. The gyoza skin is extra thick and same flour for baguette is used. But the biggest difference is how they cook the gyoza. The gyoza is tightly lined up in a frying pan with almost no space in between. Then boiling water is added and cooked for 8-10 min. Next they add oil into the frying pan until the oil covers the gyoza. The water eventually evaporates and gyoza is ready.

People at least eat 10 gyozas, which is 420 yen and the size of the gyoza is about half the size of an adult's fist. And with gyoza a cold glass of beer is a must.

Other items they have is a set of Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles

and Chahan (Fried Rice) for 720 yen, Ramen for 620 yen, Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) for 820 yen, but nothing is special about these dishes. You really come here for the gyoza.

Its not in the most convenient location, but people from all over Tokyo come to eat here. You can also purchase it frozen from their website, where step by step instructions on how to cook the gyoza is listed.


FIGHT GYOZA (in Japanese, ファイト餃子)
Address: 3-7-3, Nishi-Sugamo, Toshimaku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都豊島区西巣鴨3-7-3)
Nearest train station: JR & Toei Subway Sugamo (15 min walk)
Tel: 03-3917-6261
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.white-gyouza.co.jp/branch/sugamo.html (only in Japanese)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-8pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 11:30pm-8pm (will close early when sold out)
Closed: Tuesday (but open when holiday)

Prices: 10 Gyoza 420 yen, 15 Gyoza 630 yen, 20 Gyoza 840 yen
10 Gyoza Teishoku (10 Gyoza with Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles) 750 yen
15 Gyoza Teishoku (15 Gyoza with Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles) 960 yen
Ramen 650 yen, Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) 820 yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) 720 yen
Ramen & 5 Gyoza 780yen
Ramen, 5 Gyoza & Half Bowl of Rice 880 yen
Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) & 5 Gyoza 980yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) & 5 Gyoza 880yen

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