Osaka’s oldest premium tempura restaurant Ippoh has opened its first casual concept restaurant-bar at Singapore.
Located at Dempsey (next to Candlenut), Ippoh Tempura Bar is serving Osaka style tempura known to be light, crisp and delicately battered.
The restaurant has a seating capacity of 18, including a 12-seat tempura bar that allows guests to witness the individual preparation and immediate serving of each piece of tempura.
This isn’t your normal mass market tempura shop.
For lunch, set menu options are priced from $60 to $100. For dinner, the set menu options are priced from $140 to $200.
The basic $60 Lunch set will include an amuse, 8 pieces of tempura, kakiage with rice and miso soup, and a dessert. For example, green tea ice cream.
Accordingly, the tempura is cooked in prime safflower oil so that the integrity of the flavours is maintained, without the greasiness that is usually associated with tempura.
Also, each piece is fried individually, allowing the chef to control the oil temperature and how long each ingredient stays in the fryer.
What I liked –the interaction between the chef and customers, and that you can watch the tempura fried fresh right in front of you.
Pacing was also well managed, such that you would not feel hurried.
Unlike other typical tempura I was used to, this would have a lighter, fluffier, more understated batter which was its winning point.
While the meal overall was decent, there weren’t many striking pieces that left a deeper impression. Perhaps the fish, squid, the sweet rice cake, and to a smaller extent the gingko nuts.
I actually thought an item or two were on the oiler side.
My friend, who is a light eater, commented that she didn’t feel substantially full with a higher proportion of vegetable items to meat.
The highlight of the meal came towards the end where you can choose between a Tencha (Tempura Tea Rice) or Tendon (Tempura Bowl).
The Tencha broth was light and refreshing with fragrant notes of the tea without being too overpowering.
While Ippoh Singapore’s outpost comes across as of good quality, I wonder if the overall package and price point warrant frequent return visits.
Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh
Block 17B Dempsey Road Singapore 249676
Tel: 1800 304 3388 (local calls only)
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 2.30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs)
12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Fri, Sat, Eve of PH, PH)
* * Written by Daniel @DanielFoodDiary. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.