New "Tendon" House in Teramachi Shopping Arcade
Tendon Makino is relatively a new comer in Teramachi Shopping Arcade, running between Shijo Street and Oike Street. I love strolling the arcade from time to time to peep at new shops, bars and restaurants. When I saw Tendon Makino for the first time, though, I did not expect much because the prices on the menu displayed near the door looked a bit too low for Tendon. Tendon is a bowl of steamed rice topped with assorted Tempura's. I thought it would not be possible to serve Tendon with a nice piece of plump Prawn, a fresh Anago (Conger Eel or Sea Eel), and a couple of vegies for only Yen 1,190.
Affordable Tendon - and yet it is GORGEOUS !
After a while, I noticed there was a line of people in front of the door constantly even during lunch time. So, I decided to give it a try... Results ? I instantly fell in love with their Tendon ! Tempura's were freshly deep-fried to order, so they were crisp and moist inside. Prawn and Anago were plumpy and the sizes were just right. Also, the steamed rice in the bowl was in perfect condition. I was thoroughly convinced why people were willing to wait in line for just a bowl of Tendon. Now, I go there at least once or twice a month for a blissful moment, just for Yen 1,190. If I am in the mood to eat only Prawns, I would order Prawn Tendon which comes with Five Prawn Tempuras (no Anago). It is a bit pricey (Yen 1,390), but still a great value for money - Five Prawns !
There is a Reason why the Tempura's are so Crispy & Flavory
Frying oil they use is a mix of Sesame oil (20%) and Soybean oil (80%), and they strain the oil every morning (they change oil every 2 - 3 days). High quality Sesame oil makes Tempura flavory. Large volume of the mixed oil is heated in a big and thick copper fryer, by which the oil can always stay at a constant temperature. Keeping the optimum temperature of frying oil while battered cold ingredients are continually put into the fryer is a key to make Tempura crispy.
Tendon comes with soy based sweet sauce drizzled over steamed rice and Tempura's. But the sauce can make crispy Tempura's soggy if your eating pace is slow. In that case, tell the server or chef to serve Tendon without sauce. Sauce is available in front of you on the wooden counter top, so put the sauce by yourself little by little to keep the crispness of Tempura's.
Female Friendly Tendon House
During lunch time, most of the staff (chef, kitchen staff and servers) are usually female. Reason ? Statistically, according to the chef at Tendon Makino, there are more "solo" female diners during lunch time as compared to dinner hours. Such solo female diners would feel more comfortable getting in a restaurant when they see the staff working there are also female. I think that is a good strategy to get majority of the solo female diners looking for where to eat during limited lunch time. They are open at 11:00am daily, so go there right before the opening and take the first seating. I am sure you can enjoy chatting with her (chef) over the clean wooden counter.