The Place I love tendon, and there is one reason to be excited about. Japan’s number one Tendon chain restaurant, Tempura Tendon Tenya or popularly known as Tenya, will open in Singapore on 15 October 2020 in Orchard Central. Tenya is famous for its authentic, quality and value-for-money tendons, or tempura rice. I had a preview of the 68-seater restaurant, where the interior look is quite what I would expect of a Japanese joint – wooden furnishings and generally warm tones. The ceiling mood changes with the LED display, where the dining mood changes with rotating, animated scenes of nature and kaleidoscopic graphics. During service, watch out for the sensor-navigated robots to serve the food to your table.
This is Tenya’s first outlet in Singapore, though the brand was long established since 1989 in Asakusa, Tokyo. There are now 226 stores all over Japan as well as in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and now Singapore. There are plans to expand in the suburban heartlands in Singapore in the near future.
The Food The Tendon is definitely the highlight, though there are other dishes on the menu as well. One highlight of the tendon here is that it is cooked-to-order and the tempura is coated with their secret recipe flour batter. Most of these ingredients are sourced from Japan, with some of their suppliers from century-old names.
The cooking techniques here is precise, and the way the tempura is prepared is in a controlled and automated fashion which ensures consistency.
The most value for money option is the Mushroom Vegetables Tendon (S$7.90), where the rice is topped with tempura vegetables such as shiitake, shimeji and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, lotus root, pumpkin and French beans. Every set also comes with miso soup and your choice of soba or udon served hot or cold. More on the noodles below.
I had the Premium Tendon (S$10.90), a mix of the tempura Black Tiger prawn, squid, lotus, kani kama, pumpkin and French beans drizzled with Tenya’s Tendon Tare sauce. The rice used here is Japanese Aomori rice, and the best part is also the glazing tare sauce drizzled over the rice!
For a more luxe option, go for the Seafood Tendon (S$12.90), a combination of tempura Black Tiger prawn, anago, scallop, pumpkin and French beans. The batter here is quite light and slightly crisp, and what I find amazing is that the tendons here are generally less greasy than other tendon brands.
One reason to order the Tori Tendon (S$9.90) – this tempura chicken tendon comes with tempura egg!
Tendons aside, there is also a good variety of sides for sharing, with the likes of Tori Karaage Fried Chicken ($4.90) and Truffle Fries ($3.90).
I personally love the Chawanmushi (S$2.50) and Tamago Yaki (S$3.90) made with dashi broth, where the latter reminds me of the ones I had in Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.
If you are more into noodles, there are various soba and udon options here as well to go along with the tempura, such as the Kakiage Cold Soba (S$13.30). A noteworthy point is that the udon served here is the Inaniwa udon, which is thinner in texture than the typical udon.
Even the dessert menu is not neglected here.The top pick for me is the Hokkaido Soft Serve (S$2) made with 100% dairy products from Tokachi, Hokkaido. It is creamy, milky yet not too sweet. Huge serving for its price, go for this if you can only have one dessert.
Other dessert options include IBC Root Beer Float (S$4.90) served with Hokkaido soft serve ice cream, Brownie ($6.90) with Hokkaido soft serve ice cream and Matcha Azuki Cake ($5.80).
Rants Only walk-ins, no reservations accepted.
Will I Return Again? This is an affordable restaurant in town fora casual Japanese meal, and quality is not compromised at Tenya for the price it is offering. Another plus point is that the ventilation of the space is very good, and you will not end up with a greasy smell after your meal.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 2.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
181 Orchard Road
#B1-01 Orchard Central
Tel: +65 6509 6838
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)
Ranted by The Ranter