Some of the most sinful food, at bargain prices11 May, 2011 by Chad
Izakaya are Japanese restaurant-pubs that serve a proper meal in addition to the wide range of alcoholic drinks. They are a comfortable place for salarymen to wind down after a hard day’s work, without busting the small amount of pocket money they get from their wives. Tengu is a common chain of Izakaya restaurants found all around Japan. It comes highly recommended from various sources (including ourselves) for providing quality dining while still keeping within Izakaya prices.
On average, a meal at Tengu costs only 2000 yen (3000 with drinks) per person after dividing the tab. In some ways, you might be able to compare the prices at Tengu with Saizeriya. But instead of faux Italian Tengu serves a combination of Japanese faves and other savory delights. The low prices also makes it a popular among groups of struggling students and thrifty young women.
Here’s a compiled look at some of the food at Tengu over about 4 visits. All the different outlets seem to serve the same menu but keep in mind that the dishes change slightly from time to time so not everything seen here may be in season. But it covers pretty much anything you’d want to eat on any given day, from bite sized snacks to more substantial meals.
Each dish falls between the 300-600 yen range, with drinks costing the same. The comfortable setting allows you to take your time sampling from the full menu at a leisurely pace. We never felt hurried for time or pressured to order more. In fact the staff keep out of sight most of the time. But press the table-side bell and they appear promptly. It’s a great place to spend the night in the company of your friends.
With such a wide menu, the quality of food is bound to differ from item to item. Most of the stuff we’ve tried have been acceptable though, with some being downright awesome. Take note though that given the nature of the place, alcohol is mostly the motive. And as a result, the food here tend to lean toward the salty side.
One of the dishes that come highly recommended is their Parma Italian Ham Pizza. It’s basically bacon on a thin crust pizza. This savory delight had us asking for seconds each visit.
The most unmissable item though is their diced steak. It’s some of the most juicy pieces of beef you’ll find. The bargain price at this otherwise meat scarce city definitely helps sweeten the deal. The lemon version is uncanny, but has since been taken off the menu. Still, this other garlic one features the same succulent bite sized pieces of meat presented on a hot pan.
There are 49 Tengu outlets throughout Japan right now, most of which are located within Tokyo so you’ll have little difficulty finding one there. For those outside the capital, there is also at least one shop within each major city in the Tokai and Kansai regions. For a full list of addresses, or more information about the chain, visit Tengu Izakaya’s Official Site.
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