The secret to making good tempura is in the batter. The seafood, meat, or veggie should be coated lightly and evenly to be perfect. It should be deep-fried long enough to cook what’s inside. Then it should be rested to achieve the distinct crunch once you sink your teeth into a piece.
This art of deep-fry is perfected at Tenya.
The restaurant chain has over 200 stores in Japan and is currently expanding in selected countries including Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong. It opened its biggest store in Tiendesitas, Pasig, in January. It can seat 145 guests.
“Filipinos like their fried food,” said general manager Edmundo Ramos. “What you get when you eat at Tenya (in Manila) is pretty much the same meal you get when you eat in Kita-senju, Japan.”
They take into consideration the Filipino dining habits and preferences.
“We like to eat in big groups and with our family. We introduced the sets to accommodate that. They get to try a sampler of our dish,” Ramos said.
The Kagayaki Ooedo set (P1,025) has a selection of tempura including black tiger prawn, kani sticks, squid, kisu, sweet potatoes, eggplants, green beans, four bowls of miso soup and four servings of rice.
Chukri Prieto, managing director, said that the serving size is bigger, but the quality is the same.
Tenya’s specialty is its tendon. A tendon is a tempura rice bowl topped with the restaurant’s signature dontare sauce.
A special tendon was created especially with the Filipino palate in mind. They call it the Asakusa tendon.
“The Asakusa tendon has everything Filipinos like. It has three black tiger prawns, rice, sauce and a small serving of vegetables,” said Prieto.
Tenya also has a special tendon available for a limited time. Some have ingredients that are flown in directly from Japan. It once offered a snow crab tendon and eel.
Tenya has a library of over 300 types of tempura. This is why it will never run out of new products to introduce.
For the uninitiated, the All-Star is a good choice. It has prawns, salmon, squid, kani, kakiage, green beans and mushrooms.
Feel like breaking tradition? You can have a go at the bacon tempura. For dessert, you can indulge in the Oreo tempura. Yes, they really do fry anything.
Just like in Japan, the restaurant does not charge its customers for the service. But unlike in Japan, make sure to leave a tip.
Tenya is at SM Megamall, Market! Market!, BGC Stopover, Paseo de Magallanes, Mall of Asia, Aseana City, Festival Mall and SM Southmall.