Ten-yu, Kyoto

November 11, 2014

On October 22, 2014, Hiroshi and Harumi invited Linda and me to dinner at Ten-yu, a small tempura restaurant in central Kyoto. We were seated along the ten-seat counter on the second floor.

Hiroshi ordered the good house sake.  The appetizer was somewhat chewy, but tasty, abalone slices under something shredded.
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The sashimi was tai, or red sea bream, a special fish.
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Next came sushi in an interesting format with the fish wrapped around a small rice core and a fish skin outer wrapper.
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The next course was ayu, a prized fish which has been described as having a distinctive, sweet flavour with “melon and cucumber aromas”. It was served in a gelatinous broth, a texture much appreciated in Japan, with grated daikon and spring onions.
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The tempura setup was then placed in front of us.
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On the upper left is grated daikon to be mixed into the tempura dipping sauce. Top center is a slice of citrus and top right are salts, which the tempura chef frequently recommends instead of the dipping sauce.

The first tempura was shrimp heads, perhaps the best of all tempura ingredients as they have a concentrated flavor.
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Next came the headless shrimp.
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The chef serves shrimp to Hiroshi after we were served.

The green beans were very fresh under a heavy batter.
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Large sticks of unidentified fish wrapped in shiso leaves, also heavily battered. A good vehicle for the dipping sauce.
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Large mushrooms; very good.
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Uni wrapped in nori.
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I frequently wonder why tempura chefs try to use sea urchin as it is usually overcooked, gooey and having lost flavor. But this one, wrapped in heavy seaweed, worked very well. The sea urchin flavor was enhanced by the sudden heat. Bravo.

Gingkos with a little salt added. Nice.
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An unidentified, at least to me, flaky fish in a heavy batter.
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Rice topped with quite a few tempura shrimp and soy sauce. Pickles and miso soup were alongside.
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This is an excellent way to serve rice.

Persimmon dusted with soybean powder.
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The meal was very good, a nice mix between the varied starters and the tempura selections. All were beautifully cooked and served. The pace was just right and the ambience good. Thank you Hiroshi and Harumi.

Ten-yu
324-1Ebiyacho, Gokocho Sanjosagaru Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8076

+81 75-212-7778

 

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