Jenkins and I knew that during our trip to Tokyo, we wanted to try out an izakaya place. It was a bit of a challenge figuring out which one we wanted to go to because there were so many. After consulting a few food blogs and talking to my friend Victoria, we decided to check out Tengu Izakaya, which was a chain izakaya with really reasonable prices and happened to have a location really close to our hotel in Shibuya.
Jenkins and I went to Tengu for dinner late one evening around 9:30PM or so. The reason the picture above has light is because I forgot to take a picture when we went for dinner so we stopped by quickly the next day on our way to the subway. Tengu was pretty busy when we arrived despite the late hour but we only had to wait about 5 minutes before they seated us. I should warn you that smoking is allowed inside so it may not be the best place for you to visit if you are sensitive to that.
We had been snacking for most of the day so we only ordered a few things to share. First came the cold ramen salad. All the components were served separately so we mixed everything together before we ate it. The ramen was chewy and perfectly cooked with a light miso dressing. Along with the ramen came some lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, and roasted seaweed. The ramen was definitely the star of the show but the accompanying veggies gave this salad a nice crunch. It was definitely one of our favourites of the evening.
We also ordered some gyoza, which was served steamed rather than pan fried. It was simply dressed with some soy, leeks, and green onions. The gyoza skin was very thin and perfectly complemented the pork filling inside. The ingredients were all very simple but again, very well made.
We also ordered a few yakitori skewers. The pork cheek (bottom in the photo below) had a lot of porky flavour and was simply seasoned with some salt and pepper. The pork was quite juicy and the meat retained some charcoal flavour from where it was grilled. Jenkins and I preferred the bacon and mochi skewer more but it’s usually hard to go wrong when there is bacon involved. The smoky bacon kept the mochi from oozing everywhere and the saltiness of the bacon went well with the mochi, which does not have much of any taste. With a little dab of Japanese mustard, these skewers were quite tasty.
The garlic fried rice was a surprise hit. Jenkins and I were looking for some type of filler dish that would add some substance to our “snack” dinner so that was why we ordered the fried rice originally. However, this turned out to be another excellent dish. The roasted garlic flavour permeated the rice, which was perfectly fried with each grain being its own distinct piece and perfectly seasoned with the right amount of salt and pepper. Time and time again, Jenkins and I were super impressed with the rice while we were in Tokyo and this was no different.
Jenkins and I were really happy with our light meal at Tengu and our only regret was that we weren’t more hungry because then we could have tried more dishes! We were hoping to come back for a repeat visit but there just wasn’t enough time so Tengu will definitely be on our list when we come back to Tokyo. Prices here were pretty reasonable with the items that we ordered totaling to about $15 CAD.
15-3 Udagawacho, Tokyo, Japan
Hours: Daily 5-11:30PM