HOLIDAYS, Japan, Uncategorized JAPAN: TIAN GOU RESTAURANT 22 February 2010

Tokyo is a multi-layered city.

Normally, you see shop fronts and restaurants along the street, even in major cities. But in Tokyo, the street level is less than 1/3 of what’s actually on offer. The city is so densely populated that it’s morphed into multiple floors. if you look carefully amongst the street level shop fronts, you’ll see small doors – entrances into a vast array of many, many more shops. Go down a flight of stairs and it opens up into a huge store or restaurant. Restaurants are stacked layer upon layer up the upper floors. I’m not talking about shopping malls that naturally have multiple floors, I’m talking about just shops lined along the street, but have hidden upper and lower levels.

And yet, virtually every single place is packed! It seems the locals know exactly where to go, even if places are hidden behind small doors and narrow corridors. It’s a great way to poke around and find lots of new things in every nook and cranny, but it’s also really exhausting when there is just SO much to look at and do 😛

This was how we found Tian Gou (??), which means “heaven dog”, literally. Why? I have no idea! We’d decided to go up a (tiny) elevator in a squashy building, and the doors opened on one of the floors. The place was packed out, it looked good, and so we decided on-the-spot to eat there 😛

Was a great choice in retrospect, ‘cos the place was fabulous! Basically every dish was delish and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Food is just better in Japan – FACT!


Inside Tian Gou

The large, pictorial menus

Fresh home-made tofu. OMG this was amazing!!!!

Raw shrimp sashimi. Ultra creamy and sweet

Pregnant fish. Way too scary for me to eat…

Sizzling sticky rice cakes

Salad with silver fish (can you see the teeny tiny things?)

Omelette roll. So simple, but it was outstanding.

Sizzling beef steak

Roast chicken

Prawns and avocado

Coffee Jelly and ice cream, and sweet potato fritter and ice cream

Half of the dishes that we ordered 😛

Happily fed


58 Comments

  • joannako posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    pregnant fish aka shisamo is really yummy!!! i dont eat alot of food too but i will definitely eat that! 😛

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

      Ooo you like it? I can’t bring myself to try it – that pregnant belly and little eggs FREAK me out too much 😛 But Chris loooves it

      Reply
  • am_klutz posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    The TOFU! Sigh…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:06 am

      Normally tofu’s all about the same to me, but this one was the best I’ve ever had :)~

      Btw, Chris hasn’t forgiven you yet for giving me that “tofu mousse” recipe and making him eat it 😛

      Reply
      • am_klutz posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

        Bwahahahaha! But it’s NICE! Hehehehehhee

        Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The kanji is actually read as “Tengu” since in Japanese (:

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengu

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:07 am

      Ahh yeah, don’t know a word of Japanese but I could read it in Chinese 😛 A bit of an odd name for a restaurant!

      Reply
  • eviltofu posted on February 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Is that Tofu Evil? It looks familiar…

    I’m now hankering for Japanese food. Will have to eat Japanese for lunch tomorrow!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Heh I’m kinda sick of Jap food now… we had it breakfast, lunch and dinner!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    So many happy memories! My first afternoon in Japan my brother and I took a chance on a restaurant hidden beneath another, and it was amazing – my first meal in Japan was rice topped with shiso, uni, sashimi, so much salmon roe, nori, accompanied with zaru soba and fresh wasabi. WANT NOW! 😛

    Also, I remember having coffee jelly with cream on the train to Nara, and swearing I’d make it when I got home. That was three years ago?!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:11 am

      Nice!! All those hidden restaurants are the best imho. Your dishes sound goooood.

      Did you end up making coffee jelly? I love the stuff

      Reply
  • marmalade81 posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve been enjoying your Japan entries! makes me want to go back there. We also stayed at Toyoko Inn when we were in Tokyo! I love their complimentary Japanese style breakfast!

    PS: I like your red sweater in the last pic! very cute 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Oo cool, I love Toyoko Inn – they’re so so cheap and so much cleaner than expensive hotels around the world!

      The top’s Alannah Hill, got it when I was in Australia over new year 🙂

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    天狗 = Tengu (Japanese Kanji generally sounds similar to how it would be pronounced in Mandarin). It is some sort of supernatural creature in Japanese mythology. Can’t remember what exactly, google if you can be bothered. :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

      So odd to name a restaurant that way! Erm, at least there was no dog meat on the menu.. hahah

      Reply
      • babyflite posted on February 23, 2010 at 4:08 am

        The funny thing is tengu isnt even a dog. More like some kind of shape shifting goblin. Just one of those bizarre Japanese thing I guess!

        Reply
  • joannako posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    pregnant fish aka shisamo is really yummy!!! i dont eat alot of food too but i will definitely eat that! 😛

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

      Ooo you like it? I can’t bring myself to try it – that pregnant belly and little eggs FREAK me out too much 😛 But Chris loooves it

      Reply
  • am_klutz posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    The TOFU! Sigh…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:06 am

      Normally tofu’s all about the same to me, but this one was the best I’ve ever had :)~

      Btw, Chris hasn’t forgiven you yet for giving me that “tofu mousse” recipe and making him eat it 😛

      Reply
      • am_klutz posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

        Bwahahahaha! But it’s NICE! Hehehehehhee

        Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The kanji is actually read as “Tengu” since in Japanese (:

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengu

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:07 am

      Ahh yeah, don’t know a word of Japanese but I could read it in Chinese 😛 A bit of an odd name for a restaurant!

      Reply
  • eviltofu posted on February 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Is that Tofu Evil? It looks familiar…

    I’m now hankering for Japanese food. Will have to eat Japanese for lunch tomorrow!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Heh I’m kinda sick of Jap food now… we had it breakfast, lunch and dinner!

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Yum, everthing looks so good…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

      It was a fab restaurant, a shame they don’t have a branch in Shanghai!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on February 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    So many happy memories! My first afternoon in Japan my brother and I took a chance on a restaurant hidden beneath another, and it was amazing – my first meal in Japan was rice topped with shiso, uni, sashimi, so much salmon roe, nori, accompanied with zaru soba and fresh wasabi. WANT NOW! 😛

    Also, I remember having coffee jelly with cream on the train to Nara, and swearing I’d make it when I got home. That was three years ago?!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:11 am

      Nice!! All those hidden restaurants are the best imho. Your dishes sound goooood.

      Did you end up making coffee jelly? I love the stuff

      Reply
  • islegrl posted on February 23, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Isn’t it fun finding these *hidden* places around the city? I think it’s so fun! I agree, the food in Japan is better, at least compared to Hawaii! ^___^

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:45 am

      Yes! It’s totally like playing a game, poking around and seeing what you discover 🙂

      Hawaii has tokidoki though….. and it’s just a gorgeous place!

      Reply
  • marmalade81 posted on February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve been enjoying your Japan entries! makes me want to go back there. We also stayed at Toyoko Inn when we were in Tokyo! I love their complimentary Japanese style breakfast!

    PS: I like your red sweater in the last pic! very cute 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Oo cool, I love Toyoko Inn – they’re so so cheap and so much cleaner than expensive hotels around the world!

      The top’s Alannah Hill, got it when I was in Australia over new year 🙂

      Reply
  • cenedrah posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Looks delish! But I don’t see how pregnant fish is scary. I’m sure you’ve had caviar, fish roe, etc…it’s the same is it not? Just a different ‘scarier’ name. I’d eat everything once personally (unless it was illegal, endangered or a pet!) lol.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:48 am

      It’s all in the mind I think, cos I will eat stuff some people consider scary (like foie gras) but other stuff I daren’t. I’m so-so with caviar and don’t like fish roe.. but eating the whole fish with the eggs in the belly is just too close to nature for me!

      Reply
  • kare2711 posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:41 am

    i agree with you about the stacks of shops. street-wise just a shop. Look closely, you see a small dor leading to a flight of steps tp many other shops. Oh I so miss Tokyo. How did you all manage what and where to go to?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:49 am

      Yeah, it’s such a fab concept and makes it fun – but tough for tourists to easily see what’s available!

      My parents have been to Japan many times so they organised the areas/towns we’d go to, and we’d just poke around once we got there 😛

      Reply
  • babyflite posted on February 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    天狗 = Tengu (Japanese Kanji generally sounds similar to how it would be pronounced in Mandarin). It is some sort of supernatural creature in Japanese mythology. Can’t remember what exactly, google if you can be bothered. :p

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

      So odd to name a restaurant that way! Erm, at least there was no dog meat on the menu.. hahah

      Reply
      • babyflite posted on February 23, 2010 at 4:08 am

        The funny thing is tengu isnt even a dog. More like some kind of shape shifting goblin. Just one of those bizarre Japanese thing I guess!

        Reply
  • tinytear23 posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:16 am

    you know whats the worst part with dishes like the pregnant fish? the way they name it! the preggie fish is called ‘komochi shishamo’, which means shishamo with babies. and i find the most disturbing one to be the rice bowl dish ‘oyakodon’ with chicken and eggs, the name literally means ‘parents and kids donburi’!

    having said that i love japanese food. just have to ignore the freaky names 😉

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Ooo I never knew that! But err those names are definitely quite odd, maybe the japanese think it’s cute??

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Yum, everthing looks so good…

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

      It was a fab restaurant, a shame they don’t have a branch in Shanghai!

      Reply
  • islegrl posted on February 23, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Isn’t it fun finding these *hidden* places around the city? I think it’s so fun! I agree, the food in Japan is better, at least compared to Hawaii! ^___^

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:45 am

      Yes! It’s totally like playing a game, poking around and seeing what you discover 🙂

      Hawaii has tokidoki though….. and it’s just a gorgeous place!

      Reply
  • cenedrah posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Looks delish! But I don’t see how pregnant fish is scary. I’m sure you’ve had caviar, fish roe, etc…it’s the same is it not? Just a different ‘scarier’ name. I’d eat everything once personally (unless it was illegal, endangered or a pet!) lol.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:48 am

      It’s all in the mind I think, cos I will eat stuff some people consider scary (like foie gras) but other stuff I daren’t. I’m so-so with caviar and don’t like fish roe.. but eating the whole fish with the eggs in the belly is just too close to nature for me!

      Reply
  • kare2711 posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:41 am

    i agree with you about the stacks of shops. street-wise just a shop. Look closely, you see a small dor leading to a flight of steps tp many other shops. Oh I so miss Tokyo. How did you all manage what and where to go to?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:49 am

      Yeah, it’s such a fab concept and makes it fun – but tough for tourists to easily see what’s available!

      My parents have been to Japan many times so they organised the areas/towns we’d go to, and we’d just poke around once we got there 😛

      Reply
  • tinytear23 posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:16 am

    you know whats the worst part with dishes like the pregnant fish? the way they name it! the preggie fish is called ‘komochi shishamo’, which means shishamo with babies. and i find the most disturbing one to be the rice bowl dish ‘oyakodon’ with chicken and eggs, the name literally means ‘parents and kids donburi’!

    having said that i love japanese food. just have to ignore the freaky names 😉

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Ooo I never knew that! But err those names are definitely quite odd, maybe the japanese think it’s cute??

      Reply
  • alongcameaspydr posted on February 24, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Everything looks good minus even the pregnant fish but I don’t think I could eat the fish with that name. LOL

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Yeah, and just the fact that it’s whole makes it really scary 😛

      Reply
  • alongcameaspydr posted on February 24, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Everything looks good minus even the pregnant fish but I don’t think I could eat the fish with that name. LOL

    Reply
    • beverly posted on February 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Yeah, and just the fact that it’s whole makes it really scary 😛

      Reply
  • emilia68 posted on August 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I want to eat..

    Reply
  • emilia68 posted on August 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I want to eat..

    Reply
  • Leave a Reply