Tenshin At The Regent Hotel

Tenshin

We were trying to think of a place to do lunch and I was suggesting places like Au Petit Salut or even dim sum at Royal China, when “Cook Like A Chef” was on and they were deep-frying everything in sight. The Asian Food Channel provides inspiration in more ways than one.

And when it comes to a fry-up, while a few cultures have them, none do it as elegantly as the Japanese Tempura and in Singapore, there is none finer than Tempura Tenshin at the Regent Hotel.

This is not my first time to Tenshin, but inevitably, I still choose the “mini Kaiseki” set. I find that having 2 or 3 pieces of a fry-up simply not taking it seriously enough.

It’s been a while since we’ve had really good Sashimi so we were delighted to get excellent Sashimi at a Tempura restaurant. The tuna was a dark beetroot red that had a rich deep taste while the tuna belly simply coated your mouth with flavor and disappearing only to leave you wanting more. Fantastic.

Sashimi Starter

The best seats are usually at the counter where you can interact with the Chef and this is particularly so at Tenshin as you get your food a piece (two actually) at a time piping hot instead of a large plate of all the tempura’d bits all at once at the table.

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And after a quick and quiet presentation of the tempura course of the Kaiseki, it’s off to the fryer. The fryer, which is simply a cast-iron bowl filled with oil, is eerily silent as each piece is gently slid inside.

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Apparently, this is a two-person task with one person doing the dipping while the other watches the food and fishes them out and presents them on the plates in front of us. Presentation is the correct word to use here, by no means is the food simply dumped on to the plates. Each duo is carefully arranged using the “rule of thirds” composition.

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And let us not forget the Pièce de résistance, the Uni Tempura. If you eat only 1 piece of tempura this year, you ought to get out more and if you go to Tenshin, you should taste the Uni tempura. It is an entire sea urchin wrapped in a piece of Nori. Slightly metallic with strong floral hints and a strong Jasmine finish, nothing really comes close to the complexity of the Uni.

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My only concern was that the last time I had it, the Uni tempura was prepared fresh, in front of us, this time it was brought out from the chiller. While it was excellent, I can’t help but remember my first taste of it was more intense and more floral. Oh well…

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Lunch was finally rounded out by a large bowl of sesame rice filled with tempura prawns (I got tempura pumpkin) which was, to me, the best bowl of rice I’ve had this year, some pickles and an excellent bowl of miso-y soup that was satisfying and at the same time, refreshing.

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Tempura Tenshin is the premier Tempura restaurant in Singapore and prices reflect that status. Service was a little clumsy this time but hardly noticeable because of all the good food. All things considered, there is really no better way to spend an afternoon simply chatting and having small, elegant and surprisingly delicate bites placed in front of you at a leisurely pace.

That I think, is the essence of Kaiseki.

Tempura Tenshin is at #03-01, Regent Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, Tel: 6735 4588

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Posted on 9th Mar 2009 in Food and Drink, Japanese

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There Are 2 Comments

 

food.recentrunes.com | Robert Rainford in Singapore commented on June 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm


[…] This blog loves the Asian Food Channel because it is useful as a clock (every show is about 30mins, great for timing roasts); it makes for good company when he is alone at home cooking or fulfilling his domestic duties and is a source of inspiration. […]


 

[…] blog had a magnificent lunch at Tenshin and Heston Blumenthal shuts down The Fat Duck because it was under attack by Somali […]


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