The best tempura in Tokyo is either at 7-Chome Kyoboshi or at Mikawa Zezankyo

Today, in Tokyo living a Travelife, we had lunch at a quirky little restaurant in a pretty quirky part of town.

This restaurant is supposed to be Tokyo’s best tempura restaurant, and it’s located just after Kayabacho in the downtown area of the city, in a residential neighborhood that must be hard to find if you don’t speak Japanese.

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Tempura is devoured with a passion here in Japan, so there are a million good places and everyone has his or her special tempura place.

There are also lots of different standards for judging tempura and deciding which is the best.

There are the Japanese lists, the Michelin ratings, the advice of the experts, and the opinions of blogs. Depending on who you read or what you read, you’ll come up with a different name for Tokyo’s best tempura restaurant.

This tempura apprentice is still in training under the master.
He won’t be frying tempura for years.
Posted on Instagram in real-time.

Read about it in Travelife Magazine. 

Incidentally, our last issue featured 7-Chome Kyoboshi, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Ginza that is well-known to serious foodies around the world because of its three Michelin stars.

This may be the highest-rated tempura restaurant in the world.

As always, Travelife Magazine is probably so far the only publication to feature this excellent tempura restaurant in depth, thanks to the hard work of our contributing editor, Jerome Velasco, who writes the Hungry Traveler column.

We were there ahead of everyone else.

In the current issue of Travelife, by the way, Jerome writes about Nahm and Gaggantwo of Asia’s best restaurants, located in Bangkok. He visited them last year, before one of them in particular made a splash on the international food scene.

Of course, every other serious foodie is talking about these two restaurants these days, since these made it to a list of top restaurants in Asia.

But we were there first.

Again, no one travels like us. 
Or eats like us. Or writes like us.
This is why we’re #1.

And today, we went to Mikawa Zezankyo.

This restaurant has only one Michelin star, so from the foreigner viewpoint, it is not as high in the rankings as some other tempura places.

However, for many Japanese, this is supposed to be the best tempura restaurant in Tokyo, if not in Japan.

This was taken with my iPod and posted on Instagram.
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Chef Tetsuya Saotome, the tempura master here, is widely acknowledged as the foremost authority on tempura in Japan, and he is also known to many as a “national treasure” for so faithfully propagating the art of tempura in the Edo-style for decades.

This means that he only prepares and serves food that was available during the Edo period (1603-1867).

And I think he’s been making tempura in this manner for several decades now.

This was taken with my iPod and posted on Instagram.
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But it’s slightly off the radar of the international foodie set because of its relatively low Michelin rating, and because it’s pretty complicated to find.

Even we had to input the address into the GPS of our car to get there.

This was taken with my iPod and posted on Instagram.
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But the tempura here is wonderful — ever so light and tasty. They serve the grated radish and the tempura sauce along with everything, but you just don’t touch the seasonings as salt is enough for the entire meal.

It’s also relatively reasonably priced, in the general scheme of things in Tokyo.

Lunch ranges from US$100 to $170 per head, which is about the going rate for a kaiseki restaurant at lunch in Tokyo as well.

More on this quirky little restaurant in my next blog entry, on my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.