A Tendon bowl, 天丼 short for Tempura Donburi 天ぷら丼ぶり, generally consist of deep-fried tempura over a bed of rice, covered in light soy dressing, though some restaurants serves the sauce with salt separately.
There were many Tendon specialty restaurants that opened in the last 3 years or so, though many have also closed or started diversifying to offer other types of donburi.
With the arrival of Tempura Tendon Tenya from Japan (you may have tried it at Asakusa, Tokyo) at Orchard Central, Tendon may find some attention and love again.
Here are 9 Tempura Donburi Specialty Restaurants In Singapore:
Eat At 7, 3 Temasek Boulevard #03-311 Suntec City Mall Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6333 4386
Opening Hours: 11am – 4pm, 5pm – 10:30pm Last Order 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Kohaku specialises in Edomae Tendon, where bowls of Hokkaido rice piled with tempura drizzled in a specially made sauce are served. So, so good.
The options are straight forward – the signature Kohaku Tendon ($15), Vegetable Tendon ($14), Spicy Flavour ($15) and Vegetable Spicy Flavour ($14).
This is for once that I liked almost every piece in the bowl, from the sweet soft pumpkin, crunchy long beans to fresh-tasting squid.
My friend didn’t quite like the chicken breast which she thought was dry and chunky, but I found the piece acceptable (maybe because I am so into protein of late).
However, beware of smelling like tempura due to the ventilation issues in the small eatery. (Read: Kohaku Tendon Suntec City)
Kogane Yama – Bugis Junction
Bugis Junction #02-50, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: 11am – 9.30pm Last Order 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Fri – Sat)
Islandwide Delivery: https://koganeyama.beepit.com
The modern Japanese eatery with outlets at Bugis Junction and JEM, specialises in affordable Japanese tendon (tempura rice bowls) and donburi.
Kogane Yama’s Tendon comes with a few options – Mixed Bowl ($15.90), Chicken Bowl ($12.80), Prawn Bowl ($13.80), and Vegetable Bowl ($11.90).
All bowls include an identical assortment of vegetable tempura; lotus root, long beans, carrot, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato and seaweed – deep fried in an aromatic mix of deep-soybean and sesame oil.
I would say just go for the Mixed Bowl, which includes chicken, prawn, along with the vegetables.
Customise the bowl with a choice of house-made blend, available in non-spicy and spicy options. I like the spicier bowl. Kogane Yama (Bugis Junction)
Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road #03-08, Singapore 228208
Tel: +65 6235 3312
Opening Hours: Lunch: 11.30am – 3pm Last Order 2.30pm, Dinner 5:30pm – 10pm Last Order 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Tenjin is a Japanese tempura donburi concept by the Les Amis Group no less, situated on the third floor of Shaw Centre.
The menu is lean, serving mainly Tendon where crispy pieces of seafood and vegetable tempura are served atop a bed of fluffy Hoshi-Jirushi rice from the Ibaraki prefecture.
There are options of Yasai Bowl ($12.80) with five different kinds of vegetable tempura; Jo Bowl – prawn and vegetables ($14.80); and the more deluxe premium selection Toku-Jo Bowl ($22.80).
All tendons are served with miso soup and Kyabetsu salad, with choice of regular or spicy tare (sauce).
The more affordable Jo Bowl ($14.80) contained prawn and vegetable tempura, complete with a freedom range egg.
Accordingly, these barn-laid eggs are from hens with plenty of space to roam, so the yolks would have that richer, orange colour.
The tempura pieces had this crispy, golden-brown batter, yet the inside (especially the vegetables) remained moist and flavourful. Tenjin (Shaw Centre)
Suntec City Mall #02-305/308/311 Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Tempura Makino is no stranger to the tempura-business, first established in 2006 with over 10 outlets in Japan.
The chain specialises in serving the “Tsudoage” style of tempura – made to order and served one by one. The same flour, dashi and dipping sauces used are all imported from Japan.
I went straight for the Makino Special Tendon ($25) considered more pricey than the average, but was at least filled with bountiful ingredients of 3 pieces of Prawns, Kisu Fish, Anago, Squid, Maitake, Butternut Pumpkin, French Bean and Egg served on Rice.
The verdict: the batter was light and appetisingly-crisp, more oishii than some of the recent tempura openings. It wasn’t particularly greasy as well.
The one feedback I had was the drizzling of the tendon sauce. A part of the bowl got heavily drenched which made that area tastier, yet some of the tempura pieces soggier.
A large half of the bowl (plus the bottom) ended up being rather plain-tasting.
Tendon Ginza Itsuki
101 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088522 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6221 6678
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
At Ginza Tendon Itsuki, you can look forward to Keisuke’s authentic Japanese tendon creations crafted using the freshest ingredients. Tendon aka Tempura Rice Bowl, is often regarded as delightful one-bowl soul food meals for many Japanese around the world especially during summer.
Filled to the brim, the tendon is overflowing with fried ingredients topped on rice. The ingredients are coated in a light batter and are only deep-fried upon order, so you get them hot and crispy outside and succulent inside.
Try the Vegetable Tendon ($12.90) with a medley of Pumpkin, Shiitake Mushroom, Lotus Root, Eggplant and 4 pieces of vegetable tempura; or go for the Special Tendon ($13.90) which comes with 2 pieces of Chicken, 2 pieces of Prawn, 4 pieces of Vegetables, and Half-Boiled Egg.
Each tendon set is served with miso soup and Chawanmushi (steamed egg), which is value for your money.
If only we didn’t leave with our shirts smelling quite like tempura. Oh, the smell. (Read: Tendon Ginza Itsuki Tanjong Pagar)
68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura #04-65 Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6264 3390
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Akimitsu is an award-winning Tempura and Tendon restaurant which originated from Asakusa in Tokyo, Japan with over 128 years of history.
It has also got Singaporeans diners curious enough to fill the restaurant with long lines – at least during the opening days. Think they haven’t got their quality that consistent.
Price-point is not considered expensive in comparison to other tendon shops in Singapore, and Akimitsu Signature Tendon ($14.90) also comes with chawanmushi, miso soup and free flow of pickles.
The best parts were probably that egg and chawanmushi – the former successfully yolk-oozing, the other smooth and flavourful.
The major pitfall was that every piece was greasy, with much oil seeping to the rice. You can imagine consuming the bowl not exactly pleasurable, with that queasy feeling after bites. Unless you do not mind oily and salty tendon, which is fine with some I guess. Akimitsu (Plaza Singapura)
(Photo credit: Nicholas Tan @stormscape)
ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #B3-23, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Probably the first in Singapore to serve Pork tempura in a Tendon bowl.
As the name implies, there was only meat (pork and chicken) with fried seaweed and the usual vegetables, without the usual prawn tempura.
Drizzled with a sweetish savoury sauce on the thin, crispy, golden battered crust, I loved the light and airy batter that coated the pieces.
For the price of $12.90, this is probably also one of the cheapest Tendon (aka Tempura Donburi) in Singapore. Niku Kappo (ION Orchard)
Regent Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Tel: +65 6735 4588
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
While the rest of the tendon eateries in this listicle are generally positioned as casual eateries, Tenshin located at Regent Hotel is more up-market (dress code: smart casual)
Tenshin is considered the first restaurant in Singapore to specialise in Japanese Tempura brought in from Japan to Singapore. The chef has more than 30 years of experience, and prepares tempura right in front of the guest at the tempura counter.
The tempura served uses fresh ingreidents straight from the Tsukiji Market, while the main shipment come in every Wednesday and Saturday.
The basic Tendon is priced at $40, which includes 3 pieces of seafood, 3 kinds of vegetables, and accompanying salad, rice, miso-soup, pickles and dessert.
If you are feeling more indulgent, get the Tokusen Tendon ($55) with assorted tempura (prawn tempura cake, vegetable) on rice, salad, miso-soup, pickles, and dessert.
(Photo credit: Nicholas Tan @stormscape)
Tempura Tendon Tenya
181 Orchard Road, #B1-01 Orchard Central Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Japan’s No.1 Tendon chain restaurant, Tempura Tendon Tenya (or simply known as “Tenya”) has opened its first Singapore outlets at Orchard Central and ION Orchard.
Through the years, Tenya has earned a following for authentic, quality, value-for-money meals. It is best known for its signature Tendon.
The Tendon is known to consist of lightly battered, crispy seafood, meat or vegetable tempura atop steaming Japanese Aomori rice with tare (glazing sauce) drizzled over.
Interesting to note: With a patented Automatic Fryer, Tenya is able to apply these professional techniques in frying tempura consistently without the skills of an experienced chef.
This also makes Tenya’s tendon more affordable at a lower than average market price.
A basic Tenya Tendon goes for $8.50; while the Prawn Tendon is at $11.90 and Seafood Tendon at $12.90.
Other favourites are the Japanese soba and udon noodles that complement an array of tempura in a marriage of textures and flavours.
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