Tensuke Tempura was one of the few places about which I didn’t really inquire much before going. On one of my last days in Tokyo, I visited Koenji, a nice quiet neighborhood, not far from Shinjuku. The neighborhood is packed with vintage and second hand clothing stores and quirky little shops. Knowing I have only a few days left and that I haven’t yet had a proper tempura meal, I was on the lookout for a great authentic tempura place in Koenji. There’s not a lot of information online in English about this place, but even the little I read made me feel like this place is worth a visit.
I queued at the line at around 12:30 and waited approximately an hour, since the place has only counter sitting for 12 diners. The weather was nice so I didn’t mind waiting in line, and besides that, this was the only place during this trip I waited in line that long. The line you see in the picture below is from when I finished my lunch, and by the look of it it’s probably more than an hour long.
The place has no English menu. Heck, it doesn’t even have a proper paper menu you can scan with Google Translate. The entire menu is written on the white planks you can see in the picture below. This was impossible to translate with the app, but fortunately, as I set, the chef approached me and stated “I can speak English”. What a relief. He told us about the set lunch menu, where you get the place’s signature dish, along with miso soup and other veggie and sea food tempura, for the price of ¥1300 (11$/41₪). What a steal!
So at first we got some Japanese pickles, miso soup, soy sauce and a bowl of rice with soft boiled egg tempura. It is considered very dangerous to make, but it looks really easy when the chef prepared it right in front of me! It’s really fun seeing how they prepare the tempura and every diner gets the front row seat for this show.
The taste was amazing. It’s quite strange thinking that egg and rice can be so tasty but it really is a very special and unique dish with outstanding flavors. Next, they started lining various tempura pieces in the tray in front of me. First I got a shrimp tempura, but the tray filled up pretty quickly, piece by piece .
If you’ll wait patiently (it’s pretty hard!) you’ll witness this:
Broccoli, bell pepper, calamari, shrimp, fish, and Kakiage with little shrimps.
Situated right next to the train station, this place a pretty easy to find. I really enjoyed both the food, the atmosphere and the friendly staff. Looking for an amazing Tempura? Don’t miss out on this gem.
Tensuke Tempura Online: