The mention of crispy, fried foods tends to elicit two types of responses: "yes please!” and “no thanks.” While many find the texture, crunch and taste of deep fried foods so titillating, many are also turned off by the grease, which can in some cases compromise taste.
Ginza Tenharu, under the same ownership of the famous Ginza Susci Ichi, is out to debunk the myth that all fried foods are greasy, inviting Thailand Tatler to bear witness. We obliged.
Located on the third floor of Gaysorn Village, Ginza Tenharu is an omakase style tempura restaurant hidden in a modest corner. Marked by a simple wooden sign with kanji letters, narrow steps beside lead up to the front doorway with a Japanese slide-door. The understated entraceway exposes a large illuminated room with seats forming a “U” shape around the main Hinoki wood counter. The restaurant is designed in Edomae style, reflecting elements of a traditional Japanese teahouse. Behind the counter is a chef and behind him is a big calligraphic piece in pake ink, echoing "Tenharu" softly.
“Tenharu”, which translates as "spring skies" or "spring heavens"reflects its name in the details: the glass covering the oil stove reflects the cherry blossom motif from the lighting above. Also maintaining the prestigious Ginza name, everything from the decorative leaves, ingredients and the chefs themselves come from Japan.
The raw ingredients for Ginza Tenharu's tempura omakase are chosen seasonally to transport diners to Japan in real time. Each piece of tempura is paired with sauces curated and suggested by the chef. They may include pure salt from Nagasaki, salt with curry powder, yuzu zest with pepper and plum, to name a few.
Seated at the cedarwood counter, one can enjoy the chef’s skilled movements up-close, including the frying. The course starts with seasonal hors d'oeuvre, like the monkfish liver and persimmon salad. Throughout the course, premium delicacies like creamy uni and juicy triple A wagyu are served, fried. The verdict? While we are used to the beauty of omakase sushi, Ginza Tenharu unlocks our ability to appreciate the very same top-grade ingredients cooked to crisp. The house's savoir faire makes the tempura shell thin and crispy and not greasy at all.
The course ends on a sweet note with petite Japanese sweets.
3rd Floor, Gaysorn Village
Open Tuesday-Saturday noon-2:30pm, 6-11pm; Sun noon-2:30pm, 6-10pm
(Related: Omakase At Its Finest: Ginza Sushi Ichi)