Tempura Don! Tempura Rice Bowls for about 5USD. Not every meal needs to be some decadent feast. A cheap bowl of carbs and deep fried bits are all you need sometimes. Some personal adivce while in Tokyo is to spend small on lunch and splash the cash on dinner.
So I present to you..
Tendon Tenya! This is a Japanese chain restaurant. It’s fast food but don’t let that turn you off. If you want something quick, easy, under 10 USD and easy to find this is a great choice. Especially if you’re someone who really likes tempura.
Tempura crash course: Tempura was introduced to Japan by the Portugese in the port city of Nagasaki. At the time they were the only people Japan would trade with and they were only allowed to come ashore in one of 2 places. The reason it’s called Tempura is because it was a way of cooking that the Portugese missionaries used during Lent when they were avoiding meat. Ad tempora cuaresme , in the time of Lent, which the Japanese mistook for the name of the dish. If you’re a big tempura fan thank a missionary… and cultural appropriation. Tempura is typically a lighter, flakier batter much different to a “breading” like fried chicken. I’m told an important part of it is making the batter with ice water. Whatever the secret is, it’s good and here you can get it for cheap.
I usually go for the double prawn, green beans and kabocha (super yummy Japanese pumpkin) bowl and then I add the soba for an extra 2 USD. It’s summer time so I went with the option of cold noodles. You can awlays get the hot noodles though. It comes in a bowl of soup. The cold noodles are way more fun. See that bowl on the right with onions and wasabi on it? Lift that up and you’ll find some ice cold broth called tsuyu underneath. It’s a salty, dark broth that you then mix in the wasabi (if you like) and the onions. You then dip the noodles in and slurp them up.
|Who doesn’t love having photos snapped while they’re eating?|
Dip those noodles and slurp away!
But wait! There’s more!
Here are some of the condiments you’ll find on your table. From left to right:
- Salty pickles. I love these with a bit of white rice. REAL SALTY!
- Tendon no Tare. It’s the same sauce that will already come served on your tempura bowl. You can add more if you like.
- Shichi mi. Want it a bit spicier? Sprinkle some of this on your tempura.
- Moshio. A type or coarse salt. This is not really for the tempura on your rice bowl. This is more for a straight tempura plate that will come WITHOUT sauce on it. You can sprinkle this salt on your tempura. Or, dine like a local and just put a bunch on your plate and then dip the tempura in the salt. SALTY!
|Handy menu in the English|
These places are all over Tokyo. If you’re wandering around and can’t seem to find anything just type Tendon Tenya (English is ok) into google and you’ll see a bunch all over.