Kamakura - Tempura Lunch @ Ten Aoi

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Posted by YY on 9:15 AM

We were walking along Kamakura, Shopping Town looking for a place to have lunch and saw this tempura shop but were reluctant to go in coz the price tag wasn't really within budget. So we decided to walk further down to see if there were more choices.

Sad to say, none of the eateries really interested us. Since it was nearing the end of the trip and we haven't eaten any tempura, we decided to take a gamble and went into the tempura shop.

Entrance of the shop. Shop name Ten Aoi.

From the entrance, the place looks deserted right? WRONG. As soon as we stepped in, the place (can sit approximately 14 pax) was full house. We had to wait for about 15-20 min to get our seats. There were benches behind us to put our stuffs so that we can eat without obstruction.

The chef preparing the tempuras right in front of his customers. Serious business.

I ordered the tempura tendon set (1,500yen) while K ordered a special set where the chef will serve up 7 different kinds of tempura at 2,000yen. Prices are a bit steep but we were hopeful.

After placing our order, a tray consisting of the tempura dipping sauce and radish was place in front of K. the cylindrical ceramic cup is half-filled with grated white radish for you to eat with the tempura. OH THE RADISH TASTES SO DAMN SWEET! Totally different from the radish you'll find in SG.

The dish on the right was filled with salt. Salt with tempura? Hmmmm...This is new to us.

My set came first. Different kinds of tempura (prepared in the kitchen) covering almost all the rice and drizzled over with a sweet sauce. NOM NOM!
My set consists of:
- Shishito x 2
- Squid
- Prawn
- Kisu
- Brinjal
Needless to say, I finished every single grain of rice + tempura =D *slurp*

Here comes K's set. Look at the spread of tempura!

From top to bottom, left to right:

1. Salad and pickles
2. Ebi Tempura x 2
3. Myoga x 2 (Myoga is a kind of ginger flower bud. you can read more about it here.
4. Kisu Tempura (a kind of fish). VERY different from the quality you get in SG. DAMN juicy and tender!
5. Lady's Finger - one of K's favourite veg~
6. A slice of squid. TENDER and not chewy at all!
7. Slices of brinjal - Another K's favourite veg. Sweet and not oily at all.
8. A mixed tempura consisting of TONS of scallops, shrimps and veg slices. WONDERFUL!

All the above tempura goes well with the sauce and even BETTER with salt! We've learnt a new way to eat tempura. But please don't attempt with table salt. Get sea salt or better grades (Fleur de sel comes into mind...)

Initially we found the price steep but after tasting the quality, we found it really worth its price tag. Although my set was cooked in the kitchen instead of the Chef preparing item by item, the dish was served piping hot with quality ingredients.
I guess the difference in price of 500yen between mine and K's, was due to the effort and each item being served 1 by 1 => piping hot and the extra mixed tempura and myoga.

For the same quality of tempura, we predicted that it will cost twice as much here in SG. At the same price, you will not get the quality and quantity anywhere near this.

Best of all?
Although the tempura were served and eaten PIPING HOT (YES...the oil is still bubbling on the tempura surface!), we both did NOT have any sore throat after that! We guessed that it is due to the oil being cleaned(by removing the leftover batter in the oil) and constantly being replaced to maintain the good standard tempura.


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