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Tenshin @ Regent Hotel

12:00 PM , 0 Comments

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Think tempura and somehow there is no "best" place in mind - and it is strange enough that the only tempura specialty restaurant that I have been to is none other than Ginza Tendon Itsuki. The more upmarket tempura dishes attempted were at Japanese restaurants which does not quite put them all on the same playing field - yes I am anal like this in terms of comparison.

For sure price point plays a part in the evaluation of a dining place and Tenshin has long been unrivaled in this aspect to the gourmet diners. And because it is so highly regarded, I had my set of expectations even before setting foot on Tenshin.

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Chef for the night, hardly any exchange is done throughout the meal - silent workers they are. Until a regular steps in and that started a night of bantering. Nonstop.

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Condiments, superfluous in my opinion.

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Reservations are highly recommended, Friday nights in particular are full nights. 

Hana ($135)
5 kinds of seafood, 4 kinds of vegetables

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The beauty of this meal gets me seeing all my dinner ingredients up close and personal before they return cooked.

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The setting before all my tempura ingredients are deep fried and served almost immediately. 

Prawn head, Prawn, King Crab, Shiso Leaf Wrapped with White Fish, Flat fish

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I would have thought prawn head and prawn could have appeared in the same course but Chef definitely had other plans.

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That whiff of prawn head was good enough to send me straight to heaven, incredibly crunchy and rich in flavours. No wonder these are the most prized in any prawn stock.

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Gone, swimming!

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No king prawn but it was so fresh, no complaints here!

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King Crab always brings a huge smile, that sweetness and succulence, oooomph!

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Shiso Leaf with a whole bunch of white fish was strangely very addictive. Something about good thing in quantities brings quadruple the satisfaction.

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I'd say be careful about the bones in the flat fish, I ended up with one dislodged in my gum! That said, I enjoyed this course.

Mushroom, eggplant, pumpkin, longbeans

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Once again, floored by Japanese produce. I would gladly be a vegetarian if all my vegetables were flown in from Japan.

Crazy light and crispy batter on every single item. It is almost baffling to think that thick batter tempura can be considered delicious elsewhere. I would have imagined the oil paper that they had thoughtfully placed to soak up the oil would be soaking, but neh...it barely had any traces of oil even!

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Uni ($45)

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This is one of those ala carte orders that strangely does not make its mark on the menu but is available if you ask nicely. Same strange phenomenon as uni rice in sushi restaurants I realised. The price tag got me a single portion of uni tempura, deepfried and sealed so delicately in seaweed. Loved the umami-ness of the generous amount of quivery sea urchin, it was bursting truth be told. The only lacking area was the crispiness of the tempura that was not evident here. A huge pity but who can hate uni anyway? 

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Appetizer

Broiled spinach in dashi stock and beancurd strips, and its the simple stuff that taste just so good. I don't remember any non-Japanese cuisine doing a vegetable appetizer so well!

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A lacquer box was subsequently placed infront of us emblazoned with Tenshin. How cheesy, but I love uncovering jewel boxes.

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Beancurd roll, Tofu, Edamame Beans

My heart went straight for the wobbly savoury tofu that was all moussey and so delicious! The grated wasabi probably did little to elevate the already amazing flavours but I was smacking my lips for more.

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Salad

Momotaro tomatoes and crisp lotus chips made such a difference to this otherwise ordinary looking lettuce salad. And that spiced sesame dressing, makes wafu seem so yesterday.

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Tea on rice

Ochazuke with tempura prawns on rice. This was a very comforting end to the meal with just enough rice to fill one up decently.

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Small Prawn Tempura Cake

I prefer this though, drizzled with a made on the spot sweet-savoury sauce that resembled teriyaki. Nothing fancy either, just rice, sauce and tempura prawns. I could really eat this for the rest of the month.

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Miso Soup

Clam miso soup gets my vote for hearty and comforting, particularly tasty with steamed rice.

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Pickles

I am never the pickle fan, theirs had crunchy textures and light vinegar-ed finishes.

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Dessert

House made sherbets, we had a go at lime and mango. Both were slush texture and were average at best.

The first visit and definitely not the last concluded at Tenshin - expect locals' bantering in chinese and dialects and a casual atmosphere. Great tempura with notable hits, until another more stunning establishment arrives this rates tops for me.

Tenshin
Regent Hotel

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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