The Place I love tempura. Having been to Tokyo a few times by now, my favourite go to restaurant for tempura has always been Tempura Tsunahachi in Shinjuku as it is very value for money. On my most recent trip, I decided that it is time to try a more upscale tempura restaurant and Tempura Kondo it shall be. Located in Ginza, the 2-Michelin Star restaurant is very popular among locals.
There are two main dining areas in Tempura Kondo, which are all counter seats. I was urshered into the dining area at the back of the restaurant which is a more intimate size of 8 seats.
The Food For a 2-Michelin Star restaurant in this expensive city, the lunch set is very value for money – available at 6,500yen and 8,500yen. There is also option to add on a la carte items if you still have space after the rather elaborate lunch course.
We went for both the Sumire (6,500yen) and Tsubami (8,500yen) lunch menu. For tempura dishes, the former has 2 prawns, 4 vegetables and 3 fishes with rice, miso soup and fruits; the latter has 2 prawns, 5 vegetables and 3 fishes. Tsubaki also comes with Kakiage, a mixture bits of scallop and prawns in batter.
As soon as we are seated, the Chef starts to prepare our prawn tempura, where we had both small shrimps and ebi tempura. As with most good Japanese tempura restaurants, every tempura dish is prepared and fried a la minute, which is an experience for myself whenever I watch how the chef handles each piece with such deft.
Some of the vegetables tempura I tried are asparagus, lotus root, onion, chestnut and nabana, which is a type of cabbage I never heard before. One thing Tempura Kondo does well is that the batter is very light and crisp, and there must be some magic that despite being deep fried, the dishes do not taste or feel greasy at all.
The most expensive part of the lunch course are the 3 types of fish tempura, where I tried the kisho fish, white fish and anago, all executed to perfection.
The last savoury dish for the Tsubaki menu is the Kakiage, where you can choose to have it separately with the rice, or have it dipped with tendon sauce served on the rice.
For desserts, it is simple Japanese seasonal fruits but as always, these fruits are sweet and delicious.
Rants As with most Michelin star restaurants, it is virtually impossible to make this a last minute dining decision as I would recommend reserving a table few weeks in advance.
Will I Return Again? Tempura Kondo is ideal if you are looking for a fine dining tempura experience in Tokyo. The lunch sets are very reasonably priced by Tokyo standards, food is good and service is friendly and professional. I highly recommend it on your Tokyo gourmet list.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
5 Chome-5-13 Ginza, 中央区 Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Tel: +81 3-5568-0923
Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 3pm; 5pm to 8.30pm
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter