Tempura is arguably one of the most well-loved Japanese food globally, together with other culinary exports such as sushi and ramen. That said, it’s not really easy to find tempura that’s crisp and soft like a cloud, at least not in Singapore.
Lucky for us, Japan eatery Tempura Tendon Tenya – or more fondly known as Tenya – is arriving on our shores this week (15 October, to be exact) to serve us delicious, fried-to-perfection tempura dishes at its first 68-seater store that’s located downtown in Orchard Central.
Founded in 1989 in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, the tempura specialist has earned a loyal following for its range of authentic quality, value-for-money meals locally in Japan as well as internationally. Over the past few decades, Tenya has grown its presence to 226 stores (and counting!) all over Japan as well as in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and will now be making its mark in Singapore this month.
Apart from being decorated with various Japanese references throughout the space, the flagship restaurant in Orchard Central also features two sensor-navigated robots that are programmed to deliver food to the tables and a statue of Uncle Ten, Tenya’s mascot, which stands at 1.4 metres at the entrance.
The menu will feature a variety of Japanese comfort food, including Tenya’s signature tendon, a donburi bowl of lightly battered, crispy seafood, meat or vegetable tempura sitting on top of steaming Japanese Aomori rice with an umami glazing sauce (called tendon tare) drizzled over. Other favourites include the Japanese soba and udon noodles that complement an array of meat and vegetable tempura for a perfect marriage of textures and flavours.
You’d be happy to know that most of the ingredients used at Tenya are carefully sourced from long-standing quality producers in Japan, some of which are century-old and trusted with customising secret blends of tempura flour, tare, and togarashi chilli for a delightful taste that is unique to Tenya
Not only that, Tenya also incorporates a patented automatic fryer, which uses infrared heater to cook tempura at a much faster pace and in greater quantity without sacrificing the overall taste. Not only does this exclusive machine allow Tenya to serve up delectable, cooked-to-order tendon at very affordable prices, it also uses only two minutes to fry up impeccably crisp tempura each time – impressive!
For the ultimate Tenya experience, go for the signature Tenya Tendon (S$8.90) which is a bowl of tempura Black Tiger Prawn, red fish, squid, pumpkin, and French beans.
Don’t feel like having seafood? Fret not, Tenya also has a variety of rice bowls to offer, including Tori Tendon (S$9.90) – that’s tempura chicken, chicken karaage, tempura egg, pumpkin, and sweet potato all in one bowl – and Mushroom Vegetables Tendon (S$7.90), which will get you a mix of tempura mushrooms (shiitake, shimeji, and enoki), sweet potato, lotus root, pumpkin and French beans.
Soba and udon noodles (in your choice of cold or hot temperature) served with the same mouth-watering tempura are also available on the menu (from S$11.90)! Appetisers such as Tomato Salad (S$5.80) and Chawanmushi (S$2.50) are available too. Be sure to round up your meal with any of Tenya’s dessert selection (from S$2) – we got our eyes on the Hokkaido Soft Serve and Matcha Azuki Cake!
Tenya is located at 181 Orchard Road, #B1-01, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896. The Japanese eatery opens daily from 11am to 10pm.