34 years-young Mamoru Kanaya may be camera shy, but the moment he works his magic in the kitchen, he moves with such gusto that you’d think he was doing a ballroom dance across the kitchen floor.
Tempura Ten Ten
Head Chef Mamoru, who hails from Hokkaido, once helmed Buta God (of Ramen Champion fame) and Eat At Seven in the past. With such accolades as being a two-time winner of Ramen Champion, it beckons one to give his new establishment’s ramen a shot.
Should I say this is a hidden gem? You might not have come across Tempura Ten Ten at Basement 1 of Raffles City Shopping Mall before. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll find it tucked away at one end of the food enclave. The search is well worth it.
I enjoyed the open kitchen concept where customers can have a peek into the kitchen. It gives them a sense of how the food journeys from the kitchen to our table. At Tempura Ten Ten, the chefs are happy to prepare piping hot meals, served fresh from the kitchen. It is casual dining with a tinge of nostalgia, and food at not-too-overly steep prices.
Tempura Ten Ten specialises in three popular types of Japanese dishes – tendon, unadon and ramen. We tried three of their dishes and fell head over heels with their Premium King Prawn tendon. We just couldn’t get that King Prawn taste out of our minds!
Special Tendon ($13.80)
If the word tendon is an abbreviation of tempura and donburi, shouldn’t this bowl comprise of tempura and unagi be called ‘unatendon’? You got the best of both worlds mixed in with Hokkaido rice, generously loaded with a huge slice of premium unagi eel from Kagoshima, and assorted vegetable (shitake mushroom, seaweed, pumpkin, long bean) and prawn tempura.
And in case if you are wondering what’s another bowl doing in the dish, it is actually for diners to separate the tempura and other side dishes from the rice tucked at the base.
The tempura has a nice crunchy texture to it. Coat them evenly in their original or spicy tempura sauce to fully enjoy the enhanced flavours with the tempura in itself. Both sauces are flavourful, but as a spice-lover, I preferred the kick from the spicy tempura sauce.
Here comes the tempura King prawn tower!
Premium King Prawn Tendon ($19.80)
You can’t leave Tempura Ten Ten without ordering their Premium King Prawn Tendon. This is indeed their star dish on the menu. The three massive prawns are towering over a bed of fluffy rice. For an additional $1, you get to upgrade to truffle rice, which is the best way to enjoy this dish.
Don’t forget to pull apart the armoured shells of the prawn head to reveal the crispy fried bits of the hepatopancreas buried in it.
Ebi Miso Ramen ($16.80)
On days when you crave for something warm, you can order from their range of ramen choices. One of the more unique ones they have is the Ebi Miso Ramen, which you don’t really get to see on menus of other ramen outlets. The soup-base has the thickness of Laksa and an aromatic prawn flavour that resembles that of our Chinese Prawn noodle soup. The tasty broth complemented well with the springy yellow ramen, which I find well suited for a typical Singaporean tastebud.
If you’re looking for a fuss-free casual Japanese dining place, this is it.
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-13 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Raffles City Shopping Centre