Japan’s Number 1 Tendon Chain Tempura Tendon Tenya has opened its first outlet at Orchard Central

Japanese Tendon chain Tempura Tendon Tenya has opened its first outlet on 15 October 2020 in Basement 1 of Orchard Central next to Zoff and Tokyu Hands. The 68 seater store joins the 198 stores all over Japan, 9 in Philippines, 14 in Thailand, 3 in Taiwan and 2 in Hong Kong.

The tempura specialist was established in 1989 in Asakusa, Tokyo. Till today, it still offers the same authentic, quality and value-for-money meals.

7 Tendon Sets to Make You Go Crazy

The chain is known for its signature Tendon, a donburi bowl of lightly battered crispy seafood, meat and vegetable tempura served with Japanese Aomori rice drizzled with an umami tare glazing sauce. Developed together with traditional soy sauce maker, Kinoene Shoyu, the tare glazing sauce is kept at a constant temperature of 29 to 31 degrees Celsius. This sauce is a blend of soy sauce that is produced in Noda city of Chiba prefecture as well as a dashi base made with bonita flakes from Kagoshima Prefecture and Yaizu city. The dashi also contains dried sardines produced in the Kyushu region. Tenya adds grilled eel essence to the sauce to give it more umami flavours.

The viscosity of the sauce is kept consistent by monitoring every three hours with a refractometer. The viscosity of the sauce affects the glaze, absorption into Tenya’s rice as well as level of sweetness.

Cholesterol-free 100% pure canola oil from Naturel is used to fry the tempura. Canola oil is know to be beneficial for the health with its high content of ‘good fats’ and the lowest levels of unhealthy fats as compared to other commonly used vegetable oils.

Diners can choose from a variety from the set meals by picking 1 of the seven tendons, select the portion of rice from less rice, regular or extra rice, pick a Soba or Udon with a choice of cold or hot and the amount of noodles you need (regular or extra noodles).

TendonDescriptionTendon PricePrice With Cold/Hot Soba or Udon
Tenya TendonThe signature Tenya Tendon is served with tempura battered and deep-fried Black Tiger prawn, red fish, squid from Japan, Japanese pumpkin (aged for a month to reduce the moisture) and local French Beans.
S$8.50

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$12.90

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Premium Tendon2 Tempura black tiger prawns, squid from Japan, kani kama (crabstick), Japanese pumpkin (aged for a month to reduce the moisture), lotus root, local French beans.S$10.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$15.30

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Prawn TendonEnjoy 3 tempura battered and deep-fried Black Tigert prawns, local Shimeiji mushrooms and local French beans. S$11.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$16.30

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Tori TendonNot available in Japan. The Tori Tendon comes with tempura battered and deep-fried chicken breast, local egg, Japanese pumpkin, sweet potato and deep-fried chicken karaage.S$9.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$14.30

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Seafood TendonEnjoy a serving of tempura battered and deep-fried Black Tiger prawn, anago saltwater eel, scallop, red fish, Japanese pumpkin and local French beans. S$12.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$17.30

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Mushroom Vegetable TendonTempura battered and deep-fried locally sourced shitake, shimeiji and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, Japanese pumpkin, lotus root and local French beans.S$7.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$11.90

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.
Kakiage TendonTempura battered and deep fried in a mould containing bite-sized pieces of Black Tiger prawns, squid, kani kama (crabstick), Japanese onion and local French beans.
S$8.90

The Tendon is served with Aomori rice, tare glazing sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

S$13.30

The Soba/Udon is served with tentsuyu dipping sauce, pickled daikon and miso soup.

We Love the Udon

Cold Udon

The cold udon is my favourite. It’s one of the best I have ever tasted, especially for someone who doesn’t really like udons. The high grade inaniwa udon is from Shimadaya in Akita Prefecture and is made to Tenya’s specification, taste and texture. The glossy, velvety textured udon has a different taste and texture to the commonly found sanuki variation. It is thinner and smoother. Eaten either cold or hot, the udon is dipped into the tsuyu (dipping sauce) produced by SOMI, a traditional sauce company established in 1950 in Kyoto, Japan. Carefully selected katsuobushi simmered from bonito flakes give a rich flavour with an elegant and mild taste.

Individual portions of udon noodles are cooked in the automated noodle boiler for 30 seconds. After that, it is cooled down in ice water at about 9 degrees Celsius, and then in colder iced water at 3.5 degrees Celsius for another 30 seconds. The noodles are soaked for 30 seconds to prevent them from turning soft and breaking apart and this two-step procedure speeds up the cooling process of the noodles. The noodles are served with thinly sliced spring onions, grated Japanese ginger and grated Japanese daikon.

Automation in Tenya’s Kitchen

Automation in the kitchen ensures food consistency. There is the automated noodle boiler that we mentioned above.

There are two automated rice cookers with pre-set amount of water, rice and steaming time. The rice is soaked for 20 minutes and steamed for 55 minutes. Filtered water at the constant temperature of 27 degrees Celsius is used to cook the rice, so that you can taste the clean and rich taste. The cooked rice is then transferred to an auto-dispenser rice machine by detaching the bottom lid of a container, preventing rice breakage. When the dispenser’s sensor detects the rice, it will start loosening the rice. It dispenses the rice in small (130g, less S$0.50), standard (180g) and large (250g, additional S$0.50) portions. This is pretty thoughtful giving consumers the option to order different portions of rice and even include savings for ordering less rice. Something not many F&B outlets practice.

The automatic fryer is what allows Tenya to serve quality Tendon at an affordable price. Whilst it usually take over 10 years of training for tempura chefs to master professional-level tempura frying technqiues, Tenya has studied their techniques and succeeded in developing an auotmatic fryer that can make quality tempura consistently without the skill of an experienced chef. Ingredients are cut to precise proportions. The fryer’s temperature and time are controlled by embedded computer programmes. An infrared heater enables the machine to fry 1,000 pieces of Tempura in 1 hour without quality deterioration from continuous frying. It takes 2 minutes to fry the ingredients and 5 minutes before customers are presented with the tempura. Excess crumbs are removed automatically to minimise oxidation of oil. The environmental friendly induction heating system allows the oil to evaporate reducing any wastage.

Sides and Appetisers


For appetisers there is a S$2.90 Horenso, a Japanese spinach salad mixed with sesame sauce and topped with goma (Japanese white sesame seeds). The S$5.80 Tomato Salad is extremely refreshing. Fresh momotaro tomato is hand-sliced and drizzled with a Japanese sesame dressing topped with thinly sliced Japanese onions that have been soaked in cold water to remove its acidity and for the added crunch. The healthy eater will be delighted to know that the salad dressing from Niishin Oilio in Shinkawa, Tokyo is zero-calorie. The dressing is made with 1/3 of the conventional amount of oil while preserving the rich and distinct taste of its ingredients.

There is also a S$2.50 Chawanmushi. Local eggs are mixed with a konbu-based dashi for a silky egg custard. Ingredients in the Chawanmushi include a small Black Tiger prawn, chicken, local shitake mushroom and Kani Kama (crabstick) from Japan. It is steamed for 9 minutes and kept in a warmer.

Then there are Tori Karaage (S$4.90) served with a slice of local lime and Truffle Fries (S$3.90) topped with dried Japanese parsley and grated Italian Parmesean cheese for the sides.

Hokkaido Soft Serve

The Hokkaido Soft Serve (S$2 nett) in a wafer cone is smooth and creamy, using only 100% dairy products from Tokachi in Hokkaido. Perfect way to end your meal. Or you could just head to the takeaway counter and order this.

There is also a rich chocolatey Brownie (S$6.90) with Hokkaido Soft Serve Ice Cream as well as a light, bitter-sweet Matcha Azuki Cake (S$5.80)

Robot and Touchless Hand Washing Station

A robot delivers food to guests and you have to use that SMIXIN touchless hand washing station before and after your meal. It dispenses soap, water and paper automatically after activation via a precise sensor.

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