天一 Ten-ichi – Tokyo, Japan

A couple years back, I saw this food show on tv about tempura bars.  I’ve always wanted to try but didn’t have the opportunity to try in Kyoto.  For this Tokyo trip, I researched before-hand and found 天一 Ten-ichi, a famous tempura restaurant that has served international dignitaries and celebrities.

Since we were shopping in Ginza, we went to the outlet at the basement of the Sony building for lunch.  Dinner price starts at about 10,000 JPY but for lunch, there are sets at 4200, 6300 and 8400 JPY.   We opted for the entry level price which includes: 2 prawns, 2 fish, 2 vegetables, 1 karage with rice .

We were there pretty early and were the only ones there for the entire meal! It felt like we were having a private meal!  We were seated at the bar so we could see the frying process. The chef fried each piece, one at a time, to ensure perfect fying time.  The fried item was then immediately handed to us before it got soggy.

Everything tasted soooo fresh and sweet that I’m not going to repeat myself for each picture…

fried prawn head.. so crispy and had roe too!

fried prawn body… The tempura I had eaten before were usually oily and covered with a thick batter; however, this was not the case at Ten-ichi. The batter was light and fluffy, so thin that it’s impossible to separate the batter from the prawn.  It’s also crispy without being oily.

fried squid..

fried white fish

fried mushroom..

fried asparagus

karage rice, pickles and miso soup..

I never thought tempura to be Japanese fine-dining , but Ten-ichi has proven me wrong.  This art of perfect frying deserves a higher accolade.

天一 Ten-ichi 

B1F Sony Building Ginza 5-3-1, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo Japan
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3571 3837

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