Of all the global cuisines, Japanese is one of the most-loved and widely consumed. It has, as a matter of fact, become a comfort food for many different nationalities. This is the reason why there are Japanese restaurants in every corner of the globe.
I personally love Japanese food myself. My two previous posts (here and here) are solid proof. While, the cuisine is widely available everywhere, there are only a few authentic eateries out there. Unless you live in Japan.
One of my dreams is to travel to Japan and get that authentic experience like finding the best yatai stalls in Tokyo and getting a bite of the East Asian country’s amazing street food selection, from okonomiyaki (savory pancake) to tomorokoshi (grilled corn on the cob with miso, butter, and soy sauce). Also, my dream is to try Jiro Ono‘s famous and highly-recognized sushi. Then, there’s the tsukemen ramen. One episode of The Mind of a Chef revealed that one of the best tsukemen ramen restaurants in Japan is Rokurinsha, a ramen place located in a Tokyo train station. And then, I’d go to Asakusa in Tokyo to try the best tendon and tempura. The list goes on and on and on.
Late last year, I got to taste that authentic goodness and I didn’t even need to fly to Japan. Well, for one dish, at least. Tenya, the biggest tendon and tempura restaurant chain in Japan opened branches in the country last year. Hailing from the tempura capital of Japan, Asakusa, the restaurant promises the best and most authentic tempura and tendon.
Tempura is one of the most favorite Japanese dishes in the country. I love shrimps that is why I love this dish, too. Give me deep-fried prawn any day. And Tenya delivers in this department. Its tempura’s breading is light and crunchy, the seafood, fresh. Its tendon has a special tare sauce that uses a soy sauce that specifically comes from a soy sauce-producing town in Japan. The restaurant also makes sure that they fry everything to perfection by monitoring and changing the oil constantly. Keeping it really authentic, most of the ingredients they use are imported from Japan.
Tenya Philippines managing director Edmundo “Iggy” Ramos, Jr. says that tempura is not just merely coating seafood and vegetables in batter and then deep frying them, there’s a whole art to it. Tenya has a long tempura and tendon tradition that is why the Japanese chefs personally trained the staff here in the Philippines. The people behind the resto know what they are doing, to say the least.
Tenya has a wide selection of deep-fried dishes but the definite must try are the prawn tempura and tendon rice bowls. It offers huge and filling tempura sets that consist of a basket of tempura of your choice (seafood, vegetables, and kakiage), a bowl of rice, soba noodles or potato salad, and pickles. Also try the Spicy Salmon Salad, Karaage (fried chicken), and Isobe Cheese (cheddar cheese wrapped in nori then fried, tempura style).
Read my Manila Bulletin article here.