Ok now that we’ve gotten your attention.
So the queue isn’t as bad as what it looks but we did wait a good 20 – 25 min (I’ve heard it can go to even 45 min) just to get into the famed Ginza Tendon Itsuki – the first, and hopefully not the last exclusively Tendon restaurant. We got there close to 12nn and the queue was really quite manageable. It helped that there’s a big tumbler of ice-cold malt tea to quench the heat anyway. Kudos to James to getting there ahead of time to beat the queue!
A collaboration between Ramen Keisuke and Ginza Tendon Sushi hailing from Tokyo, Ginza Tendon Itsuki has only two items on the menu. In layman’s terms, the Mixed Tendon Set, or the Vegetable Tendon Set, costing an incredible S$13.90 and S$12.90 respectively only. It comes with a small bowl of chawanmushi as a starter, and miso soup. So it seems cheap, but is it really?
A small piece of wakame seaweed and a viscous, speckled sauce (not sure what’s inside) tops the deliciously smooth chawanmushi which is filled with small bits of prawn, chicken, fishcake and a gingko nut. Their rendition seems slightly richer than others I’ve had, perhaps with more egg yolk than others giving it the deeper yellow colour? Regardless, it was gobbled up in no time.
For only two items on the menu, there was a rather elaborate production line starting with the dusting of flour on the meats, coating of the batter, deep-frying, elaborate plating, after which it is given a heavy drizzle of Tendon sauce (combination of dashi, mirin, shoyu, sugar and water). No detail was spared from the use of a fine brush to ensure that the entire surface is well-dusted with flour to the ladle that has a spout that ensures a precise ratio of tendon saucy love to crispy batter area.
The very first picture was the completed masterpiece. And here’s what it comprises of:
- 2 x Tender chicken fillets
- 2 x Juicy ebi prawns
- 2 x Crunchy long beans
- 1 x Sweet baby sweet corn
- 1 x Sweet golden pumpkin slice
- 1 x Golden, lightly-fried, perfectly onsen-poached-like egg
Honestly, just this tendon is worth every penny for me. The egg is best served with its golden goodness flowing through the pearl rice grains. And for that extra spice, which totally rocked my tendon, was the peppery sansyo (ground dried leaves of the prickly ash tree) and Japanese chilli powder. And of course, if you like it to be sweeter, there’s a vial of tendon sauce for you to add to your liking.
Every bite into the tempura was a crunch to remember. The sweetness of the tendon sauce that’s just right, the tasty, crunchy batter, and the freshness of the individually coated ingredients. My favourite was the chicken fillet which was cooked so absolutely, perfectly tender while still maintaining its juiciness.
One downside to relishing the beautiful fried moments of life, is the smell of oil that will coat you as well as they do their tempura. Dress light, where possible, or don’t plan for anything else but home after this meal! 🙂
Quality of food: 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Ginza Tendon Itsuki (Map)
101 Tanjong Pagar Road
Nearest station: Tanjong Pagar MRT
Tel: +65 6221 6678
Hours: Daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 10pm
P.S. They take cash only, and the nearest ATM is probably at Tanjong Pagar Plaza which is quite a distance. They won’t seat you until the entire party is present as well so make sure everyone’s there!
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