Ginza Itsuki Tendon (銀座いつき天丼) @ Tanjong Pagar

Ginza Itsuki Tendon has quite a lot of fanfare from local bloggers when it launched. Its popularity seemed to have continued till this day. This is the only Japanese restaurant in Singapore that serves and specializes in tendon and at the reasonable price. Most of the tendon served in our chain Japanese restaurants, except maybe the expensive ones, are not worth your money. So its something I look forward to trying out.

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It was a Saturday evening and I reached there about 5.40 pm and had to wait about 30 minutes to get into the restaurant.

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I liked it that the restaurant looks like a typical Japanese restaurants with counters and very limited seats. This is why there is always a long queue outside, which makes Singaporeans want to queue up even more! Mine you, just like a typical tempura restaurant you will smell exactly like what you ate after your meal, so there is no point smelling too good before.

One thing that surprised me is that there are no Japanese chefs in the restaurant. Not that it matters too much, but just wondering if that makes a difference to how they are being made.

They only have two set items: the special or the vegetable set. Each set comes with the tendon, chawanmushi or steamed egg and a miso soup. You get free flow of preserved vegetables, which helps to add some crunch during your meal. I recommend that you sprinkle some chilli flakes to enhance the taste.

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The chawanmushi came first and its one of the better ones in Singapore. The egg is silk and smooth and topped with a rich savoury broth, but I cannot say too much about the overcooked piece of chicken and prawn in the steamed egg.

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Although the try as much as possible to look authentic, I thought that the service could improve a bit more. The young waiter just place the bowl of tendon for each customer with a loud thud, including mine. Its not like he was very rude, just not attentive as he should.

For me, tendon can be broken down to the tempura batter, the ingredients, the tendon sauce and the rice. Don’t expect a crispy tempura batter for it is not; its a bit thicker than normal tempura. There is a good reason for it, the thicker batter to to allow the sauce to soak up. A good thing is that the batter is not oily and well fried. There are two pieces of prawns and chicken fillet and some vegetables. And it also interesting that they have a tempura soft boiled egg. The prawns and chicken fillet were cooked okay, nothing to rave about. I guess it really boils down to the quality of the meat we can source locally. The tendon sauce is quite sweet as most tendon sauce are but nothing too outstanding. And it works better with the sanpo (3 spices) power and chilli power at the condiments tray. The rice is typical nice Japanese rice, so nothing to complain about.

All in all, its a typical tendon that one can get in a good tendon shop or even a chain shop like Tenya in Tokyo, except that we only have one in Singapore. However, I don’t feel that it really something that I would rave about, especially not if I have to queue for 30 or more minutes for it. I cannot say if its the best for its price, since I don’t eat any tendon in Singapore and only because I don’t think many of our regular Japanese restaurant know how to do it well. But I guess the price is reasonable if you crave for a bowl of authentic tendon.

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This is the queue after I left at about 7:40 pm.

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