The Place To say I love Japanese food is probably an understatement. Despite our prolific and rather matured Japanese food scene, it has never really occurred to me that we are missing out on one aspect of the cuisine close to the Japanese hearts – Tempura Rice or Tendon (in short). Finally, an affordable Tendon shop is slated to open tomorrow (2nd July) along Tanjong Pagar road, Tendon Ginza Itsuki. A collaboration between Ramen King Keisuke Takeda (Ramen Keisuke) and Ginza Itsuki Sushi (a sushi restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo), Tendon Ginza Itsuki specialises in, well, just Tendon!
My first impression of the restaurant’s setting is in its close resemblance to similar specialty restaurants in Japan. Small space, predominantly counter seatings and a few tables, with a full view of the chefs in action as they prepare the Tendon à la minute to ensure the freshness of the tendon served.
I like the concise menu, which basically only has the Special Tendon and the Vegetable Tendon, as I think it is reflective of the restaurant’s attitude to specialise and concentrate well on these two items
The Food This must be one of the most value for money Tendon or lunch set in Singapore.
For $12.90, the Special Tendon comes with prawns (2 pieces), chicken (2 pieces), vegetables (4 pieces) and tempura egg! Yes, all these at that very affordable price!
Prepared using Hokkaido rice which is more befitting for tempura don due to its wholesome grain texture, I am surprised by how good each tempura item is. The light golden hue of the batter is crispy, with each item fried to an optimal degree to give it the light texture as well.
In addition to the generous ingredients, each Tendon set also comes with Chawanmushi and miso soup. The chawanmushi has a much richer taste than the usual flavour, as the chef uses more egg yolk instead of egg white. A closer look at the surface of the chawanmushi and you will realise there is seaweed added to it.
The Vegetable Tendon ($12.90) is equally good, with pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, lotus root, eggplant and vegetables (4 pieces).
Rants Given the a la minute preparation, expect to wait awhile for your orders. If you are sneaking in during office lunch time, be patient.
Will I Return Again? $12.90 for a tempura don, chawanmushi and miso soup. It has been awhile since I walked out of a restaurant and exclaimed “What a steal” in my head. And the best part, quality isn’t the least bit compromised. I foresee myself having lunch here quite often, since it is just minutes walk from my office. Can’t wait to be back!
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 2/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Tendon Ginza Itsuki
101 Tanjong Pagar Rd
Tel: +65 6221 6678
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30 – 10pm