The Place Tendon is all the rage the past two years after the immensely successful Tendon Ginza Itsuki. The latest to join the Japanese tempura rice don bandwagon is Kogane Yama (Golden Mountain) located in Bugis Junction, by the same team behind Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory and Masizzim. The one month old concept is located right beside Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory, with a casual light wood dining setting and a moderate seating capacity of 44 pax.
The Food One of the unique menu at Kogane Yama from other Tendon brand is that you get to customise your own tendon, and it not necessarily be rice. Choose from the Chicken (S$13.80), Prawn (S$13.80), Vegetable (S$11.80) and Mixed (S$15.80) bowls, where every option is served along with selected vegetable tempura. The most expensive and generous Mixed Bowl comprise of tempura prawns, chicken fillet, enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, green bell pepper and more.
You can then go on to choose the Japanese short-grain rice, Soba (additional S$1) or Udon (additional S$1) to go along. We thought that is all, but there is also the added choice of complimentary tentsuyu sauces which include three different spiciness levels.
We tried the Mixed Bowls with the Japanese rice, udon and soba, and still feel that tempura goes best with good Japanese rice. That said, we did enjoy sipping the clear dashi broth for both the udon and soba, especially after having the greasy tempura. The assorted tempura mix here is quite a balanced and generous combination for the price, so do come with a ravenous appetite. I would have preferred the tempura batter to be even lighter though, like ones I had in Tokyo.On a side note, the sauces definitely add that extra differentiation from other tendon concepts. Go straight for level 3 of the spicy sauce if you can usually take even mild spice.
Additionally, there is the option to add on S$2 for a set meal which includes Chawanmushi (à la carte S$2) and Miso Soup (à la carte S$1.50).
Rants It was almost full when we visited the restaurant, and you do need to set aside a considerable waiting time for your food to arrive.
Will I Return Again? If you are looking for a decent Japanese restaurant in Bugis to satisfy your hunger pangs, Kogane Yama is a pretty good value for money option.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
200 Victoria Street #02-50
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Ranted by The Ranter