With the recent openings of both Tempura Tsukiji Tenka in Japan Food Town at Wisma Atrium and Kohaku Tempura in Eat at Seven at Suntec City, I think we are spoilt for choices! Gosh, so which is better? Let me do a comparison for your guys. Before you start wondering, this is not a sponsored post and I went to both the restaurant incognito. So you can say that this is a post with my 2 cents worth.
Tempura Tsukiji Tenka is located at Wisma Atrium level 4 and nearest MRT is Orchard which is just 2 minutes walk away while Kohaku Tempura is in Suntec City tower 1 level 3 with the MRT station at tower 4. I would say that both restaurants are equally convenient. However if you are looking at going food hunting or restaurant hopping, Tempura Tsukiji Tenka is located inside Japan Food town where there is a total of 16 different concepts! I think it takes a lot to finish 16 different concepts in a day. The real exploding belly effect! lol. As for Kohaku Tempura, it is part of the 7 concepts inside Eat at Seven. So technically, it really depends how much food can you take in a day la.
Besides serving Tendon ($19.80), Tempura Tsukiji Tenka serves Sea Eel Tendon ($26.80), Kaisendon ($24.80) Bara Chirashi ($21.80) as well as Seasonal Vegetable Tendon ($19.80). As for Kohaku Tempura, it is signature Kohaku Tendon ($15), Vegetable Tendon ($14), Spicy Flavour ($15) and Vegetable Spicy Flavour ($14). Very straight forward and easier to the pocket. For those bigger eaters, you can also top up $4.50 to make it a set which comes with a small bowl of udon.
For me the texture of the rice plays a big part of a delicious bowl of Tendon. For Tempura Tsukiji Tenka, I got rice that was slightly overcooked and mushy while the rice at Kohaku Tempura uses specially imported Hokkaido rice which was cooked with the right amount of water. So what was delivered to the table was grains of soft and fluffy Japanese rice with noticeable bounce as you chew on it. Yes la, it was so good that one of my dining partner was repeating “wah, the rice very good, the rice very good”. I kid you not ok!
Not sure if you are like me, I am always curious about how my food is being prepared. So the idea of an open kitchen at Kohaku Tempura appealed to me. The only grinch for me was that the ventilation wasn’t fantastic. So I walked out of Kohaku Tempura smelling like a walking Tempura and half of my mind was wondering if I smelled bad while going for my appointment in the afternoon. Something noteworthy was the deep fryer for the tempura uses a special technology whereby there is a layer of water below the oil to trap away those tiny bites of tempura batter and keep the oil clean. As for Tempura Tsukiji Tenka, the kitchen was hidden away from the diners so nothing to see but you also don’t walk out smelling “greasy” la.
The portion at Kohaku Tempura was generous (no wonder they served each Tendon with a side plate! And the bowl is so chio right?)! I saw a fellow instagrammer counted it, there are 10 tempuras in a bowl (pumpkin, French beans, mushroom, chicken breast, squid, crab stick, baby corn, and shrimp)! As for Tempura Tsukiji Tenka’s Tendon, there are lotus, prawn, squid, mushroom and fish. Although both the restaurants used very fresh ingredients and the squids at both places were cooked just right (sweet, juicy and not rubbery ok), I would still prefer Kohaku Tempura’s Tendon. I love the idea of having more TEMPURAS (although chicken breast can be a bit tough hor, chicken thigh better, right?) and the batter used is slightly more crispy and less oily as compared to the ones at Tempura Tsukiji Tenka. Sorry Tempura Tsukiji Tenka, I am only stating the truth.
The real deal
Apple to apple comparison ah, Tempura Tsukiji Tenka’s Tendon ($19.80) served with miso soup, almond pudding (this is oiishi!), salad and prickles while Kohaku Tempura’s Tendon ($15) comes with only the Tendon. But there is free flow pickled radish with yuzu (super refreshing! Major love for this) on each table for you to add on if you want.
Both tendons are definitely above average. But personally, I feel that Kohaku Tempura’s Tendon priced at $15 is giving others a run for their money. If the portion and the quality of the Tendon remains consistent after the surge of crowd, this is definitely one of the best place I would recommended for Tendon. Not only it is reasonably priced, the tempuras tasted great with the delicious sauce and fluffy rice. So why not? Latest update, I think the crowd dwindles off during off peak hours. So go there after off peak hours if you can la. Oh ya, if you like spicy food, opt for their spicy tendon, confirm got kick! Even J and Daniel (both love spicy food ah) thought that the spicy tendon was really oiishi! I am still on the hunt for the best Tendon in Singapore, where else do you think serve good Tendon?
Tempura Tsukiji Tenka
Japan Food Town, 435 Orchard Rd, #04-42 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, Singapore 238877
Operating Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily