After the ramen and tonkatsu wave of Japanese imports, is tempura the next big thing? The people who brought in Tenya Tempura are certainly hoping for that.
Because I dropped by in the middle of the afternoon, there was hardly anyone at Tenya which is located on the ground floor of Market Market.
Tenya is a chain of affordable (okay, let's say cheap) tempura restaurants that can be found all around Tokyo. There are a few branches in touristy areas like Asakusa and Shibuya but for the most part, you won't find them along the main drag. The main target are locals, salary men, students.
Tenya's Market Market menu has a huge bowl tendon right on the cover, which is what they are most popular for.
Tendon in Tokyo, in a very good Japanese tempura restaurant can cost upwards of 2,000 yen per bowl, depending on what the toppings are.
The kitchen at Tenya is semi-open and separated by glass panels from the seating area. If you are so inclined, you can watch your food being cooked and assembled.
It was nice to see a small jar of tsukemono or pickles -- these traditionally accompany just about any kind of Japanese food and it's always a good sign when a Japanese restaurant has them on the table.
There was also a small jar of tendon sauce in case you find your bowl a bit dry. They have the same free condiments on the tables at Tenya in Tokyo.
I decided to order the house special -- the All Star Tendon which cost 325 pesos. In Tokyo, the
same bowl will cost you 750 yen and that comes out slightly cheaper at 288 pesos -- thanks to the favourable exchange rate.
The All Star Tendon comes with one prawn tempura, one squid, one salmon, one crab stick and
some green beans and mushrooms. The tempura was pleasing -- not too oily nor was the batter too thick. I particularly enjoyed the green beans and the mushrooms and will probably order the Yasai Tendon (vegetable tempura bowl) next time.
The sauce was judiciously poured on top, and did not render anything too soggy or wet. It was a good bowl of tendon and if Pinoys can get used to it, I would be happy to see more Tenya branches in the future.