With the circuit breaker period to curb the Covid-19 outbreak, I try to eat at home and not step out unnecessarily. To make this stay-at-home period more enjoyable, one option is to get takeouts. One such option is Tenjin for its tempura donburi.
I have never said no to tempura and I have always loved a good bowl of tendon. (Fluffy rice paired with fried stuff is one of my got-to comfort food; another would be this porridge. Yums!) Most tempura comes with a thicker batter, some are not so crispy, some have a minimum filling and others are made with less-than-fresh ingredients.
The great ones can be pricey and may not be satisfying (in terms of quantity). Is it too much to hope for quality and quantity in a tempura rice bowl? Apparently not. And that’s why I love with the tempura donburi offerings at Tenjin. This cosy tendon house offers just what I’m looking for – quality and quantity.
A Chic and Cool Tendon Joint
A casual Japanese tempura donburi concept by the Les Amis Group, Tenjin offers a small, yet highly satisfying, easy-to-understand menu of six tendons:
#1 Tempura Moriwase Set ($24.80): This features anago (eel), crab leg, prawn and fish. Each set comes with a warm house-made tentsuyu (tempura dipping sauce) and comes with a set of kyabetsu salad and miso soup.
#2 You can also opt to switch the rice for Inaniwa Udon (Set, $24.80) that is served with a house-made mentsuya sauce.
#3 Ebi Prawn ($17.80) gives you five prawns, mushroom, vegetable, freedom range egg, and a choice of spicy or regular tare.
#4 Toku-Jo Premium Set ($22.80) comes with anago, crab leg, prawn, fish, vegetables, freedom range egg, and a choice of spicy or regular tare.
#5 Jo Special Set ($14.80) comes with prawn, vegetables, freedom range egg, and a choice of spicy or regular tare.
#6 Vegetable Yasai Set ($12.80) offers an assortment of five types of vegetables, and a choice of spicy or regular tare.
Tenjin Review: What We Love
Tendon: There was more tempura than rice, which is a welcomed change. There was a lot more tempura and one bowl left me quite full.
Tempura: There was no old-oil smell or taste. While it was double-fried to be crunchy, the batter wasn’t thick. The fish was the freshest I have ever had in a tempura. The crab leg and eel are from Taiwan and are both sweet and tender. For the vegetable varieties, I loved the eggplant; you can taste the natural flavour, get the crunch without losing the tenderness of eggplant. The pumpkin was sweet and delicious too.
Rice: This Hoshi-Jirushi variety hailing from the Ibaraki Prefecture was fluffy, soft and not dry. We had to resist ordering more rice because it was so tasty. (You can order a side of rice at $2.)
Freedom Onsen Egg (Egg Tempura): These are sous vide first and then fried into egg tempura. (You can request for hard-boiled eggs, too)
From the side menu: What’s also worth highlighting is the Truffle Chawanmushi ($4), a smooth egg custard topped with black truffle konbu that tasted like it belonged in a high-end restaurant. A must-try.
All tendons are served with miso soup and Kyabetsu salad that was refreshing and yummy.
Other noteworthy factors: All sauces are made in-house and delicious. The variety of vegetables may change according to seasons.
Drinks: You can spend $2.50 for free-flow hot/cold Hojicha tea, enjoy some sake or beer, or go for a can of coke, a bottle of Dasani water, or get a glass of water at $0.50 (free-flow).
Tenjin: Overall Experience
Aside from the faultless tendon, Tenjin offers a fulfilling dining experience with impeccable service and relaxing Japanese Jazz music. Its minimalist interiors of bamboo lamps and blonde wood furniture add to its cosy ambience too.
Whether you are eating alone, in small groups or large, you’ll find various seating arrangements available – from a communal table in the middle of the restaurant, banquette seats by the sides, and counter seating that offers a peek into the kitchen.
Tenjin now offers a takeaway menu that features tendon #3, #4, #5 and #6, and takeaway orders do not come with the miso soup and salad. They also offer islandwide delivery. Make your orders at least one hour in advance. Go to www.tenjin.com.sg for deets.
Tenjin, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road #03-08, Singapore 228208, Tel: 6235 3312
Opening Hours: Lunch: 11.30am – 3pm Last Order 2.30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm Last Order 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon