Godaiko Restaurant, Ann Arbor, MI

The inspiration to visit this restaurant was that I’ve never had tako (octopus). My daughter and I saw packages available at Tsai Grocery,but she counselled that even the smallest package was more than we could eat.

tsai_3723godaiko_3724Tsai Grocery is next-door  to
Godaiko Japanese Restaurant
3115 Oak Valley Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 930-2880

Mr. Tess and I have been meaning to go there for years, but have never gotten around to it. But he’s now gone back to work in Virginia, and my daughter treated me to lunch!


The restaurant is in a shopping center away from the center of Ann Arbor, with stores like Meijers and Target near-by. Godiako is pleasantly decorated inside, with wood floors, chairs, and tables. Noisy, and a bit embarrassing, when you pull out your chair to sit and it scrapes loudly across the floor. We were there on a Sunday, an hour before they closed for lunch so there were not many customers. It was odd that the hostess sat us at a table crowded back to back with another table of customers, while most of the restaurant was empty… I think this is commonly done in many restaurants, but I’d prefer not to be scrunched up with strangers when there is lots of space available.

The decor is very nice, with kites displayed above a structure that brings to mind shoji screens or a traditional Japanese house. Black painted utilities (HVAC, plumbing, electric) above; I wonder if it’s loud when there are lots of folk gathered there? The TV playing some sports channel was annoying enough. Wireless internet worked when my daughter played with her iPod.


We ordered a sashimi lunch, and a sushi lunch. Each came with an American salad of iceberg lettuce, radish, carrots, and cucumbers. Oddly, the dressing was on the bottom of the bowl, rather than over the salad. The dressing was the same one I’ve made from The Japanese Kitchen book, but I must say that Ms. Shibo’s version is much nicer. Her version really is excellent. Do click on the recipe link and try your own!

little-tess_3706godaiko_3711We also got some very delicious miso soup, very simple with only a few small cubes of silken tofu. It was very well made and we both appreciated it very much. My daughter’s sashimi plate included octopus , (the tako of inspiration) but it was VERY CHEWY. (tough? yes. I don’t think I like it. but she told me it was not supposed to be that way!) We both thought it odd that she had to ask for rice. And the rice she got was plain rice, not seasoned sushi rice. ??? My sushi plate was very nice. But the crab roll I made was better, or at least easier to eat with the roe rolled into the rice, rather than served on top of the “pile.” The other sushi were nice, and I enjoyed the food.


The young fellow making the sushi and sashimi seemed to be having a good time. He kept smiling as he concentrated on his work.

Thanks, Miss Tralita! a good and fun meal.

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5 thoughts on “Godaiko Restaurant, Ann Arbor, MI

  1. I’ve never heard of getting rice with sashimi… Isn’t that a bit of the point? And why would you get sushi rice with it? It’s sashimi after all…

    Every time I’ve had tako either as sushi or sashimi, it’s been very tough so I’ve never really gotten to like it very much. Now baby octopus, that’s yummy….especially in hot pot. ^^

  2. Hi Sherry,
    Thanks for your comment. I have some questions:

    I suppose you are right about the rice. She wanted to order chirashi, in which case she would have gotten sushi rice with raw and cooked fish, but the menu was vague about the sashimi lunch plate. She’s been living in Madrid for a few years…And she’d been for Ft. Lauderdale and had just gotten sashimi with sushi rice.

    I’m only learning about Japanese home cooking. I have not ventured into sashimi yet. So you eat sashimi without rice?

    As to the baby octopus, I’ve seen frozen little small animals, whole. Is that what you mean?

  3. In Japan, we eat sashimi with plain rice. On sashimi lunch plate at restaurant, I usually have plain rice, sashimi, a few small dishes of simmered vegitables and miso-soup, Hence, when I want to eat sashimi with sushi rice, I will oreder chirashi. I can’t see an optional sushi rice on menu in restaurant, but you can get if you ask.

    I don’t think there is any set way to eat sashimi in Japan.
    Try Temaki-sushi at your home, it is very nice!!

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