Last night in Tokyo, living a #Travelife, we brought a bottle of vintage champagne to Ten-ichi in Tokyo and had tempura at the counter.
There was once a time when Ten-ichi reigned supreme as the best tempura restaurant in Tokyo.
This was at a time when there were not too many fancy or famous restaurants in Tokyo.
Even Japanese prime ministers took their foreign guests here to eat at Ten-ichi, considered one of the best tempura in town.
Scroll down to read more about tempura in Tokyo…
GOOD TEMPURA RESTAURANTS
These days, there are more good tempura restaurants in Tokyo, and even a handful of tempura restaurants with Michelin stars.
Nevertheless, for old Tokyo hands and locals who tend to stay away from trendy restaurants, Ten-ichi is still a good old and reliable favourite.
THE BEST WAY TO EAT TEMPURA
The trick to eating good tempura is to only sit at the tempura counter as this more or less levels the playing field as far as tempura is concerned.
Honestly, it’s very hard for a real tempura chef to make bad tempura if he’s frying it in front of you and then serving it within seconds.
SERVING TIME MATTERS
I know this because several times I’ve had to eat in the second floor private dining room of a restaurant in downtown Tokyo that reportedly is the best tempura restaurant in Japan, because the counter seats were fully booked.
The taste of the tempura brought up to us from the counter below was completely different from the taste of tempura eaten at the counter.
It was the same course and the same quality and the same chef, but the few seconds that the tempura was left to the elements made all the difference.
On both times I swore I would never eat in that second floor again, so I don’t know how I ended up there a second time.
AT TEN-ICHI IN TOKYO
So even at Ten-ichi, a good old local favourite tempura restaurant in Tokyo, it’s a matter of sitting at the counter.
Yesterday, we had their middle-level dinner course which included some Hokkaido scallops and half of an eel. It was excellent, and interestingly, the vintage champagne we brought actually went very well with our tempura dinner.