Tempura Tendon Tenya finally opened in Singapore just 2 days ago on 15 October 2020 (Orchard Central, B1)!
Tenya is an affordable Japanese tempura fast food chain that can be found almost everywhere in Tokyo and in other parts of Japan. We make it a point to eat it whenever we’re in Japan because it’s cheap and delicious.
I reached at about 5.24pm to queue. The wait was 1 hour but we got a table in under an hour. I think if you get there from 6pm onwards, wait time will be 2 hours. I treated my parents to dinner.
I find it so amusing that there is $3.90 truffle fries, that price is hard to beat!! And also shows a Singaporean twist to their menu.
My mom got the Tenya Tendon with less rice (50 cents for less rice, 50 cents for more rice) [$8.00++] (Tempura prawn, red fish, squid, french beans, pumpkin, miso soup).
My dad got the Seafood Tendon with less rice [$12.40++] (Tempura prawn, red fish, scallop, eel, scallop, pumpkin, french beans, miso soup).
I got the Mushroom Vegetables Tendon [$7.90++] (enoki, shiitake, shimeiji, pumpkin, french beans, sweet potato, lotus root, miso soup).
I would say the Tendon Tenya is most value for money. Like in Japan, the tempura is served with a sweet and savoury sauce on Japanese rice. Unlike in Japan, you can’t choose specific tempura (like you can’t order extra tempura). Because I’m fussy and don’t eat prawn or mushrooms, I prefer the option to choose. Hopefully they can accommodate this in future, right now, operationally I think it’s a challenge if there’s only one person working as the tempura frier. Over here, the spinach comes with sesame sauce, whereas in Japan, they serve it with soy sauce.
The ceiling has a large display screen with moving images like moving flowers.
Kitchen staff have to work hard.
There are robot waiters that serve chawanmushi (if you order it!)
In Japan, there’s free flow barley (or some kind of rice if I’m not mistaken) tea but here you have to pay $2 for free flow green tea. There’s free flow warm water though (always appreciate restaurants/cafes that serve free water). Like in Japan, they have the beer set here: For $8.90 on Mon-Fri at 3-6pm, you can order a cold Japanese beer with a selection of tempura (no rice) which is affordable.
Cons: Miso is kinda too salty. Tempura batter would be nicer if it was more fluffy, less greasy. I don’t think they take phone reservations. Wait time may be long.
Pros: Food tastes almost just like in Japan. The Japanese rice is nice. Water is free. Food comes with miso. Price is good, like in Japan!
All in all, a pretty good experience.