Tempura Tenyu (天ぷら 天友)

Tempura Tenyu provides a small and intimate dining experience featuring everything you never even thought could be turned into tempura. This small shop can only hold 10 diners, six seats at the counter so you can watch the chef do his tempura magic, and four seats at a table where you still have a good view but not quite the same as the counter dining experience. The chef and his wife are super friendly and will tell you anything you’d like to know about how to make good tempura at home or will chat you up about Kagoshima (in Japanese).

This can be a very inexpensive dining option as the individual options range from 100 JPY to 500 JPY. The easiest way to think about the way this shop works is that the tempura is served like sushi. Each piece is delicately fried, placed on a plate in front of you, and the next piece is only served once you’ve finished the one before.

There’s a wide range of tempura pictured below: sweet potato, squash, kakiage (a mix of sliced carrots, green pepper, and onion), shrimp, mochi wrapped in nori (glutinous rice cakes wrapped in lightly salted seaweed), and natto wrapped in nori (fermented soybeans wrapped in lightly salted seaweed). You have the option of simply ordering vegetables or you can add seafood such as shrimp or fish. The last time I visited this restaurant, I ordered a set menu of vegetables for only 800 JPY that was great. Top that off with fried ice cream and you have the perfect fried dinner.

 

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