[TOKYO] Tempura Tsunahachi: ohhh uni tempura

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya

Dear Food Diary:
After my last so so tempura meal, I was in search of something better, but at reasonable prices. Tempura Tsunahachi had quality tempura and a special  uni one at really affordable prices. No wonder they have stores all over Tokyo and Japan.

Founded in 1923, they’ve been serving tempura with fresh ingredients, good sesame oil and traditional skills. This is a great option for tempura lovers like myself, who don’t want to spend a fortune.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya 3

I had lunch with friends at the Takashimaya location after shopping.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - specialty salt
There are 4 types of salts to sample. Wasabi, green tea, plum and regular. I really liked the wasabi with a mild bright punch and green tea’s nice grassy finish.

 

SET 1

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - tempura set meal

There are several lunch set options from $13-$35. I had the $15 lunch set which came with shrimp, scallops, deep fried small shrimps (kakiage) and assorted vegetables.

For dinner they have more expensive ones that include sashimi.

Rice is soft and fluffy here in general and I’ve been eating more rice in my short stay in Japan than in a whole year back home.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya 2

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - assorted tempura
Fried to order. The batter has a very nice flavor, the good quality sesame oil gives that distinct taste. Seasoned perfectly and fried to perfection. Crisp and not doughy. Each ingredient maintained their natural flavor.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - shrimp
The Shrimp was sweet with an umami finish. So fresh and snappy, the meat had a nice bounce at the bite.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - shrimp ball
Deep fried small shrimps (kakiage) was ok, I prefer the single shrimp.

 

 SET 2

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - assorted tempura 2

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - eel tempura
For about $19, you get all of the above and  their Anago (sea eel). Really tender and sweet. I love fish tempura, but this is even better.

 

A LA CARTE

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - assorted tempura with uni
Uni tempura was just so good and memorable. Everything fried is better and when you fry something as sexy as uni, the result is a pleasurable texture play.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - uni tempura
Crunchy batter, a crisp seaweed and a burst of creamy sweetness. What a treat!

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - fish tempura
The fresh white fish with plum sauce was very delicate. Not oily but a natural balance of sweet, savory and tart.

Tempura Tsunahachi - Shinjuku - Takashimaya - young ginger tempura
Wild ginger flower had the texture of onions, layers upon layers. The flavor was of strong ginger. Crunchy with a fresh crisp.

Overall, we had a delightful meal. Though I wouldn’t say the tempura wasn’t oily, I mean it is deep fried after all, the golden pieces didn’t feel heavy, quite remarkable considering the amount of pieces I had. And the batter itself was light and flavorful.

I think the wasabi and green tea salt helped cut the oil along with the green tea and baby clam miso soup at the end.

As I said before, I really can’t get myself to spend $400 for tempura at 7chome Kyoboshi. But I was pretty content with the tempura here, specially those uni pieces. I will definitely be back.


P.S. Chubby’s Rating: 
chubby rating 4
www.tsunahachi.co.jp
There are few locations on their website. I went to the Shinjuku Takashimaya which is not listed on the website.