Thursday, December 17, 2020

Tempura Tendon Tenya in Singapore Has Great Udon!

I was absolutely thrilled when news broke that my favourite casual food chain in Japan was coming to Singapore. Tempura Tendon Tenya or Tenya for short, has more than a few times comforted me on cold nights in Tokyo and I could always rely on consistent quality, hearty portions and value-for-money meals. 

Yes, it is deservedly Japan’s No.1 Tendon chain restaurant, and now sees crazy long queues at its first 68-seater store at Orchard Central (it snakes around the corner to the restrooms, so don't be deceived). 

From early days in 1989 in the historical and cultural district of Asakusa in Tokyo, the tempura specialist has grown its presence to 226 stores all over Japan as well as in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and now Singapore. It is best known for its signature Tendon – a donburi bowl of lightly battered, crispy seafood, meat and/or vegetable tempura atop steaming Japanese Aomori rice with an umami tare glazing sauce drizzled over. 

Tempura has traditionally been a premium Japanese cuisine and chefs spend over 10 years training to master the art of frying tempura. However, Tenya has been able to apply professional techniques using a patented Automatic Fryer for consistent results: impeccably crisp tempura each time in a mere 2 minutes. 

Tempura is cooked faster and in greater quantity, making Tenya’s tendon more affordable at a lower than average market price. 

Tenya Singapore

Speaking of affordable meals, the bowl sets range from just S$7.90! Check out the Mushroom Vegetables Tendon (S$7.90) that gives you tempura vegetables such as shiitake, shimeji and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, lotus root, pumpkin and French beans. The signature Tenya Tendon (S$8.50) of tempura Black Tiger prawn, red fish, squid, pumpkin and French beans. The Seafood Tendon (S$12.90, pictured above) is a taste of the sea with tempura Black Tiger prawn, anago, scallop, red fish, pumpkin and French beans. 

Instead of serving Vannaemai shrimps which are often injected with saline to plump up its size, Tenya uses only Black Tiger prawns, a close cousin to the well-known Japanese Kuruma Ebi. 

From tempura flour to rice, ingredients are carefully sourced from longstanding producers in Japan, some of them are century-old and trusted with customising secret blends of tempura flour, tare sauce and togarashi chilli for a delightful taste that is unique to Tenya. 

The menu also offers an array of Tempura with either soba or udon noodles served hot or cold (from S$11.90). 

Tenya Singapore
My surprise find at Tenya in Singapore is the inaniwa udon, which is a completely different creature from the commonplace thick doughy udon. Inaniwa is my favourite kind of udon and the one here is seriously good for a casual chain! 

Tenya Singapore 
Pair your deep-fried items with a refreshing chilled Tomato Salad (S$5.80) that features specially selected Japanese tomato with a sesame dressing, topped with shredded onions. 

Karaage chicken at Tenya
Other must-haves include appetisers such as the tender Tori Karaage fried chicken (S$4.90). These are so lightly crispy on the outside and juicy inside. 

Tenya Singapore
Oh I totally love the overhead huge screen display centerpiece in the restaurant. When I first saw it on Instagram, I had thought for a split second - wow, an aquarium in the ceiling?! Haha, it looks so real. 

Tenya Singapore
For dessert, have a slice of the rich, chocolatey Brownie (S$6.90) with Hokkaido soft serve ice cream or a light, bitter-sweet Matcha Azuki Cake ($5.80). This brownie is really rich, so it's a good idea to share. Unless, of course, you're a brownie monster. 

Tenya Singapore
Do not miss the Hokkaido Soft Serve (for merely S$2 nett!) made with 100% dairy products from Tokachi, Hokkaido. Insane!

Tenya Singapore
I really can't wait til Tenya expands in Singapore and hits all the heartlands. My daughter loved the food here, and wants to come back soon. 

181 Orchard Road
#B1-01 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Operating hours
11am to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)
Tel: 6509-6838

Many thanks to Tenya for the invitation (I could never survive the queue!)

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