Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tendon Ginza Itsuki - Amazing Yet Affordable Tendon 天丼 by Ramen Keisuke @ 101 Tanjong Pagar Road [Singapore]

Tendon is defined on google as "a flexible yet inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone" but the tendon i am referring to today has a Japanese origin and is basically two words combined into one; tempura and donburi!

I generally don't enjoy tempura and even if i do order them in Japanese restaurant, it's purely to satisfy my craving for deep fried stuff. However, a Japan-crazy friend on Facebook (thanks, Caroline!) has been posting mouthwatering pictures of tendon from Tendon Ginza Itsuki and i could not resist a visit down to Tanjong Pagar yesterday.

As the shop was located at the corner, the queue would start away from the main entrance! This was the situation at 7pm and it's the same scenario when i exited an hour later! Don't these people (including me) have Monday blues like normal humans?!

And for those expecting a wide variety of Japanese dishes; be prepared to be disappointed. Aside from drinks, there were just two basic items on the menu; special tendon and vegetables tendon!

Our wait lasted about twenty five minutes before we brought into the restaurant. Do keep in mind that the service staff would ask for your order while you are queuing so as to prepare the kitchen.

With an official tally of only twenty four seats, bigger groups often would have to wait longer and if you are looking at a group of ten, good luck; you would have to split tables or take over the entire stretch of narrow counter seats.

Lady luck wasn't shining on us as well as we were assigned to counter seats! On second thought, it's safer to get in earlier than to inhale the hazardous haze outdoors! 

Immediately after we sat down, a small bowl of chawanmushi was served! The ingredients didn't deviate much from those we get from most Japanese restaurants although the taste was saltier due to the addition of seaweed.

Miso soup was sent next and again, it was the flavour of seaweed that overwhelmed the soup; i must say the seaweed was one of a kind with a special kick to it.

You may also help yourself to the pot of pickles cabbage on the table in case your tummy, like mine, was hungry and the tendon had yet to arrive!

Ta-da! My special tendon that was overflowing with tempura! This photo honestly didn't do it much justice and it would appear much larger if my lens was angled from about downward 45 degrees!

So what were in the porcelain bowl beside the rice?! Two good sized prawns, two pieces of chicken, egg and four pieces of vegetables (in my case, baby corn, mushroom, a slice of pumpkin and one stalk of long beans cut into half!

Extra credit to the deep fried poached egg that had its runny yolk oozing out from the slightly crispy casing upon a gentle cut and then lubricating the rice further for a much more luxurious meal.

Leaving the best for the last. Thus far, the batter wasn't cloyingly oily like the case in many places and its thickness was just right for me. Personally, i like the juicy mushroom, the baby corn (deep frying it was a good choice) and the chicken (both were tender). 

Of course, the key selling point for me was the mildly sweet sauce (suspected to be teriyaki based) that drenched the rice and the tempura! To ensure the evenness in the distribution of the sauce, a special ladle with three sprouts was used. p.s. that's the advantage of being seated right at the counter. 

No idea what kind of prawns they were but the taste was extremely sweet. I have had enough of ebi tempura that was more flour than prawns and this took the cake for being so good; i really hope Tendon Ginza Itsuki could consider having a ebi-don on their menu the next time i visit! 

More than satisfied! My friend didn't leave a single grain on her special tendon! Aside from a contented tummy, we exited with the strong smell of grease on our clothing! Bring along extra shirt / top if you are going somewhere else!


101 Tanjong Pagar Road
(Beside Orchid Hotel)

As above (red star)

Operating Hours
Lunch: 11:30 am. - 2.30 pm.
Dinner: 5.30 pm. - 10.00 pm.


Special Tendon - S$13.90
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

Additional Information
Only one private corner is available but as service is pretty fast, the meal is more touch and go. If you need to chill out after your meal, there're plenty of cafes in the vicinity! 

p.s. That Facebook friend of mine recommends diners not to be the first few in line when the restaurant opens for business as she discovered that the chef tends to make too many bowls and your tendon might not be as "hot" as they should be. 

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