Tempura is a dish that has been loved by the Japanese people since ancient times. There are many tempura restaurants in Tokyo, and here you will find an exclusive selection featuring 5 of them.
1. The most prominent tempura artisans: "Mikawa Zezankyo"
"Mikawa Zezankyo" is a famous tempura restaurant located in Monzennakacho, an area overflowing with the characteristic "shitamachi" atmosphere. The owner's policy is that "chefs are both artists and scientists" and he applies himself to prepare each of his tempura accordingly, combining both theory and emotion. The restaurant offers counter seats from which you can enjoy your meal while watching how the actual tempura is prepared.
Chef's choice course: available from 18,360 JPY (tax included) per person.
2. "Fukamachi," preserving the taste and tradition of Edomae tempura
"Fukamachi" is a famous restaurant that focuses on preserving the taste and tradition of Edomae tempura, which was loved by the common people during the Edo period (1603 - 1868.) The owner and founder of the restaurant learned and polished his cooking skills for over 30 years at the Hilltop Hotel, located in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, which is famous for having received the visits of many great writers. The oil used to deep fry the tempura is blended with highly concentrated Taihaku sesame oil (a transparent type of sesame oil,) which suppresses the characteristic smell of sesame, and the "tentsuyu" dipping sauce is specially made with bonito and kombu broth combined with high quality mirin and soy sauce to bring out the flavors of the ingredients.
Course menu: starts at 12,000 JPY (tax included) per person.
3. "Kondo," a restaurant that counts among its regular visitors notable people from all fields of life
"Kondo," located in Ginza, is known for counting among its regular customers many great writers, both from Japan and abroad. Like in the case of aforementioned "Fukamachi," the owner opened this restaurant in 1991, after spending 21 year as the head chef of the Hilltop Hotel. What makes this restaurant attractive are their tempura varieties, which are not restricted to standards. The owner is not only very particular about the ingredients used, but also about the way they look, and he is very passionate about both his deep frying technique and the presentation of the dishes. Another characteristic of this restaurant is that the main ingredients of their tempura are seasonal vegetables and not seafood. Here you will find exquisite dishes that you cannot taste anywhere else.
Tempura set meal: available from 11,000 JPY (tax excluded) per person.
4. "Tempura Motoyoshi," enjoy the luxurious taste and inherent deliciousness of the ingredients
"Tempura Motoyoshi," located in Aoyama, is very popular for its healthy and "light" tempura, a rarity if we take into account that this is a deep fried dish. They make delicate changes to the way in which they apply the batter and to the flame on the stove according to the ingredients to be fried in order to bring out their inherent flavors. In addition, the restaurant offers a lovely and calm atmosphere where the customers can enjoy a view of the whole cooking process from their counter seats. It opens until midnight (last order is at 11:00 pm,) so anybody can enjoy high quality tempura even late at night.
Course menu: starts at 9,500 JPY (tax included) per person.
5. "Seiju," indulge in Edomae tempura together with wine
"Seiju," located near the Tsukiji market, which boasts to be the largest wholesale market in the world, is a famous restaurant with such a good reputation that it has even been featured in the Michelin Guide. The owner himself sets out for the market every morning to purchase the freshest seafood, which he then carefully prepares so that it is ready when time comes to serve it to customers. In addition, this restaurant offers an especially attractive selection of wine chosen specifically to go with tempura. Make sure that you give a try to the rare combination of tempura and wine.
Chef's choice course: starts at 15,000 JPY (tax excluded) per person.
The restaurants featured this time are a little on the expensive side, but you can surely enjoy exquisite tempura in all of them. Try and get a taste of their dishes the next time that you are in Tokyo.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information