Eat Tanjong Pagar Tempura at Tendon Ginza Itsuki
“Their tempura is so good!”
“It better be good, it’s all they do here.”
Tendon Ginza Itsuki tl;dr
- Another Keisuke Location
- Amazing $14 Tempura Bowl
- Cash Only!
We are constantly looking for new things to eat and living in Singapore. Since everything is relatively new to us, we don’t have to look far to find it. While walking around Tanjong Pagar, Nadia and I always see a line of seated people waiting outside this restaurant. I didn’t even realize it was tempura till we got inside; thankfully one of us knows what we’re doing.
Someone else who knows what they are doing is Keisuke Takeda. Turns out that Keisuke is a Japanese celebrity chef who opened up a bunch of restaurants all over; starting in Japan and now Singapore. In Tanjong Pagar alone, he has 7 specialized Japanese cuisine branches:
- Tonkotsu King | Ramen
- Tori King | Chicken Ramen
- Gyoza King | Pan Fried Gyoza
- Champon King | Soup Noodle
- Tendon Ginza Itsuki | Tempura Over Rice Bowl
- Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke | Beef Over Rice Bowl
- Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei | Sizzling Skillet Hamburger
It’s fascinating in this day and age that there can be a chain of super specialized restaurants focusing on less than a handful of items, maximizing the flavor of their ingredients. This guy not only has 1, but 7 in the Tanjong Pagar neighborhood alone. It’s even more mind blowing considering that he has 15 in whole country of Singapore.
Nadia and JM Seated Inside
With all this experience under his belt, you can rest assured that a Keisuke restaurant will serve you a delicious meal. As with anything, some are better than others but that’s ok. Sometimes you just get lucky!
Tendon, not the muscle tendon, but rather the shortened name for tempura donburi, is a Japanese deep fried battered rice bowl dish consisting mostly of seafood and vegetables.
We lucked out entering Tendon at such a late hour. It’s never a good idea to try to walk in at a restaurant so late in the night. But as fate would have it, we were at the right place at the right time; otherwise this post would have been about somewhere else.
Nadia and I were seated and were offered the last order of the night. Being our first time there, you’d think that ordering might be a time consuming process. And if we were anywhere else, browsing the menu could have been a complicated affair. However, like other Keisuke specialty restaurants, the menu is bereft confusing pages of dishes but instead contain less than a handful of choices:
- Tempura Donburi
- Vegetable Tempura Donburi
That’s it, 2 options to satiate any hunger. As you guessed, both Nadia and I ordered a tempura tendon bowl each; I probably could have eaten another one, I wanted to eat a second one. There dish was so good, so crunchy yet so tender slathered with a sweet sauce placed on top of a bowl of fluffy white rice.
Tempura Egg Yolk
Broken Tempura Egg Yolk
Another Keisuke Win!
From my limited understanding, Keisuke is known for reimagining traditional dishes. I’m not well versed in Japanese cuisine to notice any avant-garde touches. Perhaps the tempura egg yolk is pushing the envelope but then again maybe it’s the basis for all tempura. Who knows?
What I do know is pleasurable food. Their tendon, tempura shrimp, chicken, vegetables and egg yolk all, are supremely soul warmingly pleasurable.