Sorry that I took this long, but I finally gone down to try Tenya, otherwise known as “Tempura Tendon Tenya”.

This is Japan’s No.1 Tendon chain restaurant which opened a 68-seater store at Orchard Central.

(Photo credit: Nicholas Tan @stormscape.)

My first few attempts were met with long line extending to beyond the toilet of OC basement. After which the reservation system was improved – customers were informed to write their mobile numbers on a sheet.

It was still an hour plus wait then. (Tip: write your name down before heading off to Uniqlo and Don Don Donki to shop.)

Tempura lovers would have seen Tenya’s shop at Asakusa, Japan. The chain store has grown with more than 200 outlets in Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Tenya actually opened its first store at Yaesu Shopping Mall located in Tokyo Station in 1989. It had a fast-casual dining concept, priced only a third of the average price of tendon served elsewhere.

You can see it as the ‘fast food’ of tempura in Japan.

While the pricing in Singapore is definitely not a third, it is still relatively inexpensive, considering this is in the heart of town.

Tenya Singapore’s offerings include Premium Tendon ($10.90), Seafood Tendon ($12.90), Tenya Tendon ($8.50), Prawn Tendon ($11.90), Mushroom Vegetables Tendon ($7.90), Kakiage Tendon ($8.90) and Tori Tendon ($9.90).

Side dishes include Tori Karaage fried chicken ($4.90), Truffle Fries ($3.90), Tomato Salad ($5.80), and Tamago Yaki ($3.90). I was expected to see the logo imprinted on the egg roll as seen in the menu, but it arrived plain.

Unfortunately, the much talked-about Hokkaido Soft Serve ($2) was not available.

A Premium Bowl consists of tempura prawns, squid, kani kama (crab stick), pumpkin, lotus root and French beans.

Filling full? You can ask for less rice with a reduction of $0.50 in price. The reverse is also true – more rice at $0.50. Pretty neat.

Tenya uses a patented Automatic Fryer to fry tempura consistently without the skills of an experienced chef, can accordingly fry crisp tempura in a mere 2 minutes.

With all that said, you still got to wait a while, say 10-15 minutes for your tempura bowls to arrive. But the service staff was friendly and prompt (eg filling up water), something you may not expect to see in a casual restaurant like this.

The tempura pieces generally had a clean, crisp taste, and didn’t feel as oily on the lips.

However, I thought the ingredients was generally lacking in flavours, for example the prawns didn’t have that sweet-freshness, and I could see one or two diners furiously drizzling the tare sauce over (but go easy on the sauce).

Where it worked for me was its light crispiness.

(Photo credit: Nicholas Tan @stormscape.)

Overall, I thought it was a not-bad decent bowl, at a value-for-money pricing, though if you come expecting a bowl with more satisfaction you may leave slightly disappointed.

Tenya Singapore
181 Orchard Road #B1-01 Orchard Central Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm, Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)

Other Related Entries
9 Tendon Specialty Restaurants In Singapore
Sora Boru (313@somerset)
Kogane Yama (Bugis Junction)
Nozomi by Yoshi (Millenia Walk)
Tenjin (Shaw Centre)

* Follow @DanielFoodDiary on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for more food news, food videos and travel highlights. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.

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