Tempura Tsukiji Tenka, Japan Food Town, Wisma Atria: Another Tendon Shop in Singapore! Specializing in Sea Eel Tempura Don

tempura-tsukiji-tenka-singapore-reviewOn the 4th floor of Wisma Atria, Japan Food Town is a new space which houses 16 Japanese food concepts, and Tempura Tsukiji Tenka is one of them. We were invited to sample the food, but we rejected the invite, choosing to pay on our own. Not because we are rich hor, but because the review would be more accurate.

All 16 restaurants at Japan Food Town procure more than 50% of their ingredients directly from Okinawa Prefecture, fresh, in some cases on a daily basis, as part of the collaboration with the Japan Association of Overseas Promotion for Food & Restaurants (JAOF).

People warned us that Tenka is the worst out of the three tendon shops (the other two are Itsuki at Tanjong Pagar and Kohaku at Suntec). But it’s not that terrible.

tendon-wisma-atriaThere are three sets, starting from the basic at $19.80. We went for the anago tendon set ($26.80++) and Tenka special set ($28.80++). Each set comes with appetizer, pickles, salad, miso soup, and dessert.

I’d prefer that they do not give the side dishes, so that they could lower the price of the tendon. Itsuki and Kohaku are selling at half the price of Tenka, because they are only selling tendon without sides. Tenka is making things too complicated. Besides, one major reason people call Tenka the worst of the three is the pricing. It’s too expensive.

tempura-restaurant-wisma-atriaThe special set comes with squid, prawns, salmon, and some vegetables. But the cheaper anago set fares better. It doesn’t have salmon and squid, but it has prawns and anago. Anago is sea eel, not freshwater eel, so by itself, it is slightly salty and goes well with the sweet batter.

I understand why people call it the worst out of the 3 tendon shops. It’s expensive, costing twice as much as the other 2 shops, and it has nothing special to offer. Itsuki gives an ineffable shiok-ness, and Kohaku has their special sweet-spicy sauce. What does Tenka have? The sea eel is nice, but the other two shops could easily purchase the ingredient. Even the rice at Tenka isn’t top quality; Kohaku’s rice quality is much better.

tempura-tsukiji-tenka-japan-food-town-menuThe pregnant Huccalyly with cravings ate at all the three tendon shops within a week–which gives her a unique perspective to compare them accurately—and concurs with popular opinion that this is the worst of the three. She is a pregnant woman with cravings but is watching her diet–desire vs self-control–so she was furious for wasting calories at Tenka. After she ate it, she googled spitefully to read reviews, and came across a prominent blogger’s. Huccalyly abused her or him for praising Tenka. “Did s/he get a special bowl or what? S/he’s becoming [notorious blogger], writing but not saying anything. How can? Maybe if we paid $15, I’ll be more mentally balanced.”

For me, it’s the most expensive of the three shops, and the least tasty. But if you don’t compare, the food is alright. It’s the worst of the three shops only because the price doesn’t commiserate with the taste of the food. And the service is excellent. The manager gave us an extra chair to put our bags. Our iced green tea was always filled.

We paid about $74 for two persons, twice as much as we would have paid at the other 2 tendon shops.  At a cozy space like this—ie not fine dining decor—and with the so-so quality of ingredients, this is way overpriced. They need to reduce the price by at least 1/3 to be able to compete with the other two shops.

Tempura Tsukiji Tenka
435 Orchard Road, Japan Food Town #04-42, Wisma Atria, Singapore 238877
T: +65 6262 3245
11.30am-10pm daily

Price/Value: 4/10
Ambience: 6/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 6.5/10
Overall rating: 3/5

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