One of the most famous Japanese dish is tempura.
Its mild flavor has made tempura popular for foreigners. Then, it has been eaten all over the world.
Tempura is born in Edo (it is old name of Tokyo).
So Tokyo has a lot of delicious tempura restaurant with long history.
This article introduces how to select good tempura restaurant and where to eat delicious tempura at your sightseeing in Tokyo.
What is Tempura?
Tempura is one of Japanese dish.
It is that various ingredients like seafood and vegetables are covered in batter made with wheat flour, egg and water, and fried in oil.
The origin of tempura is Edo (Tokyo). So it is one of Edo three dishes that had been eaten by common people.
It is easy to cook, so the recipe spread all over Japan. Then, it has become a standard home cooking.
Tempura is cooked with seasonal ingredients. So it is loved as a food that we enjoy four season in Japan.
Especially, restaurants in Japan offer rare ingredients that we can’t eat in foreign countries.
So why don’t eat them at various restaurants.
What is delicious tempura?
The secret of delicious tempura is to take it out of oil at the right time.
The good taste of ingredients is condensed by evaporating water.
If you take tempura out from the pan before evaporating water, tempura will be gooey.
If you fry it for long time, it will be firm.
The time to take tempura out is essential for it.
Best tempura is crispy, not oily and light when you take it by your chopsticks.
Moreover, we can taste the flavor of ingredients.
The best way to eat delicious tempura is that you eat freshly fried one.
How to select good tempura restaurant?
There are a lot of tempura restaurants.
So we show you tips to recognize good restaurants.
The best tip is to go to a restaurant with a long history.
You may think it is a common sense.
Actually, it takes a long time to be tempura master chef.
So the restaurant with a long history has master chef who has trained for long time.
It is simple and perfect way to eat delicious tempura.
It is good to go to the restaurant that chef cook tempura in front of you.
Fresh tempura is really great. That kind of restaurants is absolutely good.
The history of Tempura
The recipe of tempura was came from foreign country.
The recipe, as well as a gun, was imported from Portugal as one of “nanban cuisine.”
In Japan, foreign country called “nanban.”
At that time, tempura was a food mixed and fried with wheat flour, egg, sake, sugar, and salt without water.
It was eaten like a fritter.
As time goes by, production of oil increased.
Then, the tempura recipe was changed into the current style.
Tempura became a standard home cooking for common people.
In Edo period, tempura was thought as a snack.
Since that time, it has been eaten with sauce for tempura.
Recommended tempura restaurants in Tokyo
We carefully select restaurants offering good tempura in Tokyo.
Whichever restaurants you visit, you can enjoy delicious tempura.
Each restaurant has different features.
So we hope you compare with each restaurant.
The restaurants we introduce are well known because they have been awarded Michelin Bib Gourmands.
Tempura Kondo is the one of the famous tempura restaurants in Japan.
All gourmets know the name. It is about 5 minutes walk from Ginza Station.
The restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin stars for 12 years in a row and told not only domestic but also international about tempura.
Its feature is that we can taste perfect vegetable tempura, as well seafood.
It is difficult to make vegetable tempura because vegetable is succulent food.
However, if you come here, you can eat best fried vegetable tempura cooked by trained master chef.
The famous dish is sweet potato tempura. This looks like stump.
You will absolutely love soft and flaky texture and sweet taste of the tempura.
Tempura Ginya was a restaurant awarded two stars, which is 5 minutes walk from Shiroganedai Station.
The head chef of the restaurant had trained at a famous tempura restaurant, Tenichi, for more than 20 years.
We can eat exquisite tempura that he cooked one by one carefully.
The restaurant offers best seafood tempura. Especially, Japanese tiger prawn tempura is a popular dish.
The whole Japanese tiger prawn is perfectly fried. So It’s not too much to say that it is an artwork.
If you eat tempura with sake, the total cost is about 15,000 yen.
While it is more reasonable than other restaurants, you can eat genuine tempura here.
Tempura Uchitsu is a great restaurant which is 5 minutes walk from Hiroo Station.
It had two stars Michelin rating in 2014.
The restaurant has a private room and counter seats.
At a private room, you can eat food at your own pace.
At counter seats, you can see the chef cooking tempura in front of you.
The popular dish of the restaurant is “omakase course” including famous shrimp and seasonal ingredients tempura, a rice bowl or somen noodle, and dessert.
You will have great time because you can eat not only tempura but also other food.
Mikawa Zezankyo is a famous tempura restaurant that Tetsuya Saotome called “legendary chef” shows his technique.
The restaurant is 8 minutes walk from Monzennakamachi Station.
There is only a menu, “omakase.” The owner chef Saotome offers various tempura using seasonal ingredients which he carefully selected.
(you should tell staff about ingredients you don’t like when you make a reservation)
Every tempura is tasty. Especially, “urchin sandwiched with shiso (Japanese basil)” is great.
You taste crispy batter and creamy urchin. You can feel superb technique to fry.
Tempura Arai is a casual tempura restaurant produced by a famous tempura restaurant, Tempura Tenko.
The purpose of the restaurant is to train young chef and to tell young people about real tempura.
It is 6 minutes walk from Iidabashi Station.
The restaurant has hideaway atmosphere. It has only 12 seats. So you can enjoy tempura calmly.
The popular dish is “omakase corse (¥10,000).”
It is consisted of seasonal seafood and vegetable tempura, bite-sized soba noodle and fruits.
The dish is thought out for young people.
Uofuji is a restaurant that you can enjoy both sake and tempura. It is 5 minutes walk from Jinbocho Station.
Popular dish is “moriawase (assortment)” including tempura using with fresh shrimp the owner purchase, asparagus and seasonal ingredients.
They are carefully fried. The taste of tempura goes well with sake.
The interior of restaurant is designed for those in wheelchair.
Tempura Yabuki is a restaurant owned by a chef who has cooked tempura for 60 years.
He started training for tempura at a famous tempura restaurant, “Ten-ichi” at 20 years old.
He has belief to offer customers best dish using seasonal ingredients. So you can taste best tempura here.
The restaurant has quaint atmosphere. If you take a counter seat, you can see the chef frying tempura.
You will be impressed with his expeditious technique.
The restaurant sets more affordable price than other restaurants.
We can eat some delicious tempura for about 5,000 yen.
The technique of tempura chef
It is hard for us to fry tempura perfectly.
If you would like to eat genuine tempura, the best way is go to the restaurant with tempura chef.
Ingredient’s moisture level is different depending on ingredients.
So chef’s technique and experience is all that matters.
Chef decides to take tempura out of the oil by the popping sound during frying, the weight when the chef pick tempura up.
It takes more than two or three and half years to be able to fry tempura at a tempura restaurant.
But a famous restaurant needs more time to be full-fledged chef.
Tempura is an essential food for Japanese cuisine.
In Tokyo, there are many legendary tempura restaurant offering delicious tempura.
We selected seven restaurants awarded Michelin Bib Gourmands.
When you come to Tokyo for sightseeing, we hope you enjoy real and exquisite tempura.