You never know in this world…
A man who worked as a designer. He became friends with the master at a popular Chinese restaurant he frequented. Eventually, he began to help out at the restaurant and was entrusted with more cooking duties, and before he knew it, he had his own Chinese restaurant…
The Chinese restaurant that opened like that has now, more than 40 years after its establishment, become one of the leading Szechuan cuisine restaurants in Kyoto. The restaurant has…
Chinese Cuisine Taiho｜Broad development from a popular Chinese restaurant to Kyoto’s representative authentic Szechuan restaurant…while still serving the nostalgic specialty “Teridon
Taiho, a famous yokozuna of the Showa period, won 32 championships in Japan’s national sport, sumo. The Chinese Cuisine Taiho, which bears the same name as the famous yokozuna, is a Chinese restaurant currently in operation near JR Nijo Station. The restaurant was originally run by Toshihiro Watanabe, the predecessor, on the old Nijo Street, but now his son, who has trained at other Chinese restaurants, has joined him in the kitchen, and the restaurant has been renovated in a new, modern style. The restaurant is now one of the regulars in the Chinese cuisine rankings in Kyoto.
When you enter the restaurant, the kitchen is on the right side, and there are eight seats at the counter and six tables for four people. I visited at around 8:00 p.m., the height of the dinner hour, and the restaurant was full of customers except for a table in the back, which was reserved. My first impression of the restaurant was that it was very lively, with many people enjoying themselves with beer or wine in hand.
The interior lighting was warm orange, the walls were decorated with Chinese-style paintings, and there were some Chinese characters written above the kitchen.
Authentic Sichuan cuisine is available, but there is also teri-don, which is Japanese cuisine in all likelihood… The secret of the restaurant’s popularity is its unconventional style!
Tai Peng is famous for its relentlessly spicy authentic Szechuan cuisine, but it seems that the restaurant does not intend to stick to Szechuan cuisine alone.
Take, for example, Tai Peng’s famous “Teri Dong” (teri rice bowl). As I will introduce later, Teridon, which looks like a Japanese dish, is listed on the menu along with other Chinese dishes. The alcoholic beverage list includes wine and sake along with beer and Shaoxing sake, and the “anything that tastes good…” style of serving helps to create a less formal atmosphere at the restaurant.
Fried Miyazaki Herb Chicken: Juicy thigh meat and crispy soft batter… a snack dish that goes well with alcohol.
Let me introduce the three dishes we ordered this time. First, the Miyazaki Herb Chicken Karaage (1150 yen), a staple of Chinese cuisine and one that I personally cannot pass up. Image here…
Five pieces of fried chicken egg-sized pieces. The volume may not be enough for those who are concerned about the cost. The batter is thick, but the coloring suggests that they are fried quickly at a low temperature. It is soft and crispy. The meat inside is Miyazaki herb chicken thigh, and the juices ooze out from the cross section.
There is no seasoning on the meat or the batter, but simply add salt and blend it with the juices in your mouth. It can be served as an a la carte dish, but it is perfect as a snack with beer.
Beef Bean Curd Bean Curd: Authentic taste with plenty of soy sauce and pepper…but surprisingly easy to eat and lengthens your mouth, a recommended dish!
Like the famous Szechuan restaurant Rakuda in Sakyo-ku, this spicy bean-curd soup is fully flavored with bean-paste and huajiaoyang (Chinese red pepper). The menu also has two chili pepper marks on it to emphasize the spiciness of the dish, and the image below should be enough to convey the spiciness of the dish….
But when you take a bite, you will be surprised at how easy it is to eat. While the hot bean curd at Lakdao is served alternately with rice, the hot bean curd at Dapeng is so spicy that it can be scooped up by itself with a bamboo stick and brought to the mouth again and again. Personally, I would recommend this ma-po tofu.
Like the fried chicken, it is difficult to recommend this dish to those who are concerned about the cost, but if the desire for a delicious mabo doufu prevails, please give it a try.
Teridon Kinshi: Plenty of pork stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce and a broiled egg that absorbs the flavor of the sauce… Tai Peng’s famous menu is still highly recommended!
The last item on the menu is the famous “Teridon,” which is a must-try for most of the customers who come to Taiho. It was originally created as a makanai dish at the restaurant where the previous generation worked, and has been a staple of Taiho since the restaurant’s opening.
One day, the restaurant added a leftover broiled egg to the teri-don and it was so well received that the “Teridon Kinshi” was created in addition to the normal teridon. Currently, these two types of teridon can be ordered in three different sizes: mini, regular, and jigoku-mori (“jigoku” means “hell” in Japanese).
I was curious to see how big the “Jigoku-mori” portion would be, but I decided to go with the normal teri-don kinshi this time (by the way, if you can’t finish the dish, you can take it home for an additional 30 yen for the container)…
Slices of pork covered with a brown sauce that covers the entire surface of the white rice. A thin egg is laid between the pork and rice to catch the sauce.
The first impression at first glance is “pork with ginger sauce”. It is not a Chinese dish but a Japanese dish. Although there is no ginger, the thickly seasoned sweet and spicy sauce attracts more and more rice in the mouth.
The rice is just so good. The egg, which is mixed in with the rice and contains a nice amount of sauce, gently and gently stimulates the mucous membranes of the mouth…. It seems easy to make at home, and the quality of the teridon can only be had at Taiho.
Yodare dori: Although the volume is disappointing, the combination of hot chili and pak choi gives it a new taste!
Next comes the fourth item…a dish that has received rave reviews on the Internet called Kuchisuidori (Kyoto Tanba Black Chicken Yodarechicken). I was unable to try this dish the last time I was here, and if I ever revisit, it will be the first thing I plan to order.
According to the menu, the full size is priced at 1600 yen and the half size is 1000 yen for 1-2 persons. Since I did not intend to finish my order with just this Yodare dori, I ordered the half size…
All of Tai Peng’s dishes are small in volume, but to be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the volume of the Yodare dori. Two small plates, one with hot and spicy chicken and the other with thick vermicelli, were served, but I think it would be better to think of it as a snack rather than an a la carte dish.
The taste, however, lives up to its reputation. The chicken meat, which is warm to human skin, is tender and forms a textural contrast with the hardness of the nuts. The stimulating hot red pepper sauce alone is enough to keep your chopsticks going, but if you add pak choi, the stimulation of the hot red pepper sauce and pak choi will be neutralized to create a complex and mild flavor, as if you can “control poison with poison”. I do not recommend this dish to those who do not like pak choi, but those who like to drink may find it even more appealing.
And it would be a waste to leave the remaining hot sauce after finishing the chicken… so let’s add vermicelli into this dish. The vermicelli will further dilute the spiciness, allowing you to enjoy every last bit of the flavor of Taiho’s hot and spicy bean sauce.
Shirunashi tantanmen: A bowl of shirunashi tantanmen strongly reminiscent of Chinese ramen has a fresh taste that cannot be found in Japanese ramen shops.
And the fifth item…along with Yodare dori, I ordered shirunashi tantanmen (priced at 1,200 yen). In Japan, it is a typical summer dish, but in Chongqing, it is a specialty of food stands as it is written “Chongqing Xiao-men”…
After thoroughly mixing the sauce and noodles in the bottom of the bowl, it is time to eat… First of all, Taiho’s shirunashi tantanmen noodles are very different from those of other restaurants. The noodles are not made with the same firmness as Japanese noodles, but have a unique chewy texture, similar to Chinese ramen noodles made by stretching wheat. This type of noodle is rare in Japan, so it is a new experience for me.
Next, the tantanmen sauce served with the noodles…not as spicy as one might expect. Compared to the spiciness of beef bean curd or yodarechicken, the spiciness is clearly milder. And there is no white sesame paste in the sauce like in Japanese tanzan-men, so the flavor of the meat miso is just like the noodles themselves.
As you can see, Taiho’s shirunashi tantanmen is strongly inspired by Chinese shiru soba, and I can tell you that it is different from the shirunashi tantanmen served at ramen shops. As a backpacker, I like this kind of thing.
To get to Chinese Cuisine Taiho, walk 3 minutes from the nearest station, JR (Kyoto City Subway) Nijo Station.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant.
Address: 149 Hoshi-ike-cho, Nishinokyo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone number: 075-822-5598
Business hours: 11:30-14:20 LO, 17:30-21:30 LO
Closed: Tuesdays + irregular holidays on Wednesdays
Parking: No parking (use coin parking nearby)
Credit card payment: Not accepted (cash only)
It is located a short 10-minute walk from the neighboring Nijo Castle and Nishioji-Oike Station, respectively, if you are a little more enthusiastic.
P.S. If you are looking for delicious Chinese food in Kyoto, please stop by this article below…