1. Tendon Ginza Itsuki
Nestled amongst shophouses at Tanjong Pagar, patrons of this Japanese restaurant consider its existence one of their best discoveries…and for good reason! The 24-seater restaurant is Ramen Keisuke’s eighth concept outlet which exclusively serves tendon (rice with tempura). And there’s always a long queue which extends to the back alley when it opens; all for the opportunity to indulge in their reasonably-priced savory tendon.
You’ll have an option of either the Special Tendon ($13.90), which comes with prawn, chicken and vegetable tempura, or the Vegetable Tendon ($12.90), comprising pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, lotus root and eggplant tempura. Both are served with an egg that’s hard-boiled to perfection. Drizzle a liberal amount of the tendon sauce provided for a mouth-watering experience.
Tendon Ginza Itsuki is located at 101 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088522, tel: 6221 6678. Opens for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm and dinner from 5.30pm to 10.00pm everyday.
2. Kimoto Gastro Bar
Located within the Central Business District (CBD), Kimoto Gastro Bar is a cosy Japanese Kushiyaki (grilled skewers) restaurant, offering a variety of traditional Japanese cuisine that’s budget-friendly. Their curated menu offers everything from perfectly charred kushiyaki to donburi and tempura and their most sought-after dish would have to be the Special Tempura Don ($14.90++), comprising shrimp, chicken, sweet corn, baby corn, pumpkin and a glorious poached egg.
Seeing as you’d be hard pressed to find reasonably priced, great quality tempura in the CBD area, we highly recommend this restaurant.
Bonus? It features an open concept kitchen—a common characteristic in most Japanese restaurants—which offers diners a view of how their meal is being skillfully prepared.
Kimoto Gastro Bar is located at 6 Marina Boulevard, #01-15 The Sail @ Marina Bay, Singapore 018987, tel: 6222 7588. Opens Mondays to Fridays for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm, closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
3. Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu
Conveniently located at Plaza Singapura, Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu is an award-winning tempura and tendon restaurant from Asakusa, Tokyo, with over 129 years of history—in Japan. It promises diners an authentic tempura and tendon experience, and so far the reviews seem to agree.
Chef Tanihara Akimitsu, the founder of the eponymous restaurant, flew in to Singapore to personally train the crew at the Plaza Singapura outlet, so you know that the standards are tiptop. Their Signature Tendon ($14.90), comprising prawn, white fish, egg, seaweed and assorted vegetables tempura are served with rice covered in their Original tendon sauce. That said, the restaurant highly recommends pairing your tendon with their Spicy sauce, for an added kick.
If you’re more of a seafood lover, their Ebi Tendon ($17.90), which exclusively features prawn tempura, will be your best choice. The restaurant also offers a Vegetable Tendon ($12.90), and a Mixed Tempura Rice Set ($16.90), amongst others, ensuring there’s something for every palate. Definitely worth the queue!
Shitamatchi Tendon Akimitsu is located at #04-65/68 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839, tel: 6264 3390. Open daily for lunch from 12pm to 3pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm.
4. Tendon Kohaku
Touted as one of the best tendon restaurants in Singapore, Tendon Kohaku is situated at Eat At Seven at Suntec City. Diners can expect to be treated to a choice of Nanatsuboshi Hokkaido rice (16 multi-grains mixed in) at zero additional cost.
If there’s one item to savour from their menu, it would be the Kohaku Tendon which consists of vegetables, chicken, prawn and other seafood tempura on a cloud-like bed of rice. As with any tendon dish, help yourself to a generous drizzle of tendon sauce to delight your taste buds.
Here, you’ll find that the ingredients and tempura batter complement each other, rather than overpower. Truly crispy on the outside, tender and decadent on the inside. It’s absolutely worth braving the queue for.
Tendon Kohaku is located at #03-310/311 Eat At Seven, Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983, tel: 6333 4386. Opens daily for lunch from 11.30am to 4pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm.
5. Kogane Yama
Always fancied curating your very own tempura bowl? Then Kogane Yama, at Bugis Junction, is the place for you. It exclusively serves tempura and diners have the option of customising their own tendon bowl.
The steps are simple: Select your tendon bowl from four flavours—Mixed Bowl ($15.80), Chicken Bowl ($13.90), Prawn Bowl ($13.80) and Vegetable Bowl ($11.80)—and then opt for either rice, udon or soba. Next, choose your preferred spiciness level for your sauce. Lastly, you have the option of adding chawanmushi ($2) or miso soup ($1.50) to complete your meal. And voila! You’ve got yourself your very own customised tempura bowl. It’s the perfect way to end a day of shopping.
Kogane Yama is located at 200 Victoria Street, #02-50 Bugis Junction, Singapore 188021. Opens Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.
6. Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh
Touted as Osaka’s best and most famous tempura restaurant, Ippoh Tempura Bar promises diners an authentic Japanese tempura dining experience like none other. Situated at COMO Dempsey, it boasts exceptional culinary standards and the finest ingredients, from seasonal items to the safflower oil used in cooking. The proof is in their light and fluffy tempura dishes which you can eat with rice or a salad.
Moreover, every chef has been masterfully trained in the art of creating the best tempura, so you can rest assured that your money will be well spent. That said, the biggest selling point here is probably the interaction with the chefs as they prepare your meal right in front of you, providing you with several Instagram photo ops. The restaurant’s Lunch Sets range from $40 to $100 and their Dinner Sets are from $100 to $200.
Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh is located at Block 17B Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676, tel: 1800 304 3388. Opens Sunday to Thursday for lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 6pm to 9.30pm. And Friday, Saturday, Eve of PH and PH for lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
7. Tempura Tsukiji Tenka
Created exclusively for Japan Food Town, Tempura Tsukiji Tenka is Tokyo Sushi Academy’s first restaurant in Singapore and it offers spectacular tempura and donburi.
The tempura are expertly prepared by graduate chefs from Tokyo Sushi Academy with their Tenka Tendon ($13.90), being the most popular item on the menu. Comprising tempura lotus, prawn, mushrooms, salmon and kakiage served atop a generous bed of rice, it’s perhaps the most value-for-money Japanese tempura restaurant you’d find along Orchard Road.
However, if you’re peckish and aren’t really in the mood for rice, opt for their Assorted Tempura ($16.80++) that comes with chicken, salmon, mushroom, eggplant and sweet potato. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Tempura Tsukiji Tenka is located at #04-42 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road, Singapore 238877, tel: 6262 3245. Opens Monday to Friday from 11.30am to 11pm, Saturday from 11am to 11pm and Sunday from 11am to 11pm.
Nestled between a Chinese restaurant and a Lego shop on the fifth floor of Takashimaya shopping centre, Mizuki has received stellar reviews for its tempura counter. The most important aspect of any tempura is the crunch—it needs to be crispy, but not overly so, and maintain the juicy tenderness of the protein or vegetable inside. And we’re happy to report that Mizuki’s tempura are pretty much crisped to perfection.
All of the sumptuous food served here are prepared by a tempura specialist who spent about 12 years honing his craft in Hong Kong. Our only grievance is that it comes with a hefty price tag of $60 onwards for lunch and $130 onwards for dinner. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best tempura restaurants in Singapore.
Mizuki is located at #05-32 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, Singapore 2388772, tel: 3764 6308. Opens Tuesday to Sunday for lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and dinner from 6pm to 11pm. Closed on Monday.
Touted as the best Japanese restaurant in Singapore, Tenshin serves tempura made with fresh ingredients imported from the famed Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, which explains their seasonal menu. Diners will be able to spectate as a tempura chef prepares their tempura right in front of them at the tempura counter—and yes, they’re Instagram-friendly as well.
The Tempura set ($40) from their lunch menu consists of three pieces of seafood tempura and three types of vegetable tempura, a salad, rice, miso soup, pickles and dessert. And true to its reputation, the tempura are fantastic; lightly coated, crisp in texture, and with the natural flavour of the ingredients preserved.
Tenshin is located at #03-01 Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715, tel: 6735 4588. Opens Tuesday to Sunday for lunch from 12pm to 2pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm. Closed on Monday.
10. Niku Kappo
Originating from Tsukiji, Japan, Niku Kappo is a new dining concept by Watami. It boasts an authentic Japanese Kappo-style (a multi-course meal where the chef cooks in front of the guests) dining experience and a wide range of food selection.
Their motto is to offer reasonably priced genuine Japanese cuisine, and so far the reviews online seem to concur. Their Niku Tendon ($12.90) is great value-for-money, consisting of hearty servings of pork, chicken, french beans and seaweed served with rice and an onsen egg that just melts in your mouth.
The lightly coated tempura are drizzled with a liberal amount of tendon sauce that complement each other perfectly.
Niku Kappo is located at #B3-23 Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801, tel: 6509 9366. Opens daily from 11.30am to 10pm.
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