Ten Ichi Ginza

Namiki-dori, 6-6-5 Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

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This is the original branch of what is now a little chain of tempura restaurants in Tokyo. It was not even mentioned in Michelin, but seems to be the best known tempura restaurant in Tokyo. We set around a small counter, but there are in fact many such rooms in this Ginza building.

The first thing to observe was the freshness of the ingredients arrayed next to the chef. The prawns were distinctly fresh, as evidenced by the fact that they were still alive; it does not get fresher than this. From live to in your mouth in under a minute. We had a variety of pieces of tempura: prawns, prawn legs, mushroom, ginko root, asparagus and sea eel (anago). There was also a white fish, shilago. Finally we had a lovely scallop tempura and then excellent miso soup with rice and pickles.  Miso soup varies a great deal in quality and here it had an enjoyable, rich flavour.

The tempura batter was incredibly light, almost a gossamer cloud surrounding the various tempura items.  So often tempura can be (at least in the UK) a clunky batter like something you would get at a fish and chip shop, but here it was remarkably light, letting the superb ingredients speak for themselves. The chef was attentive and service from our waitress excellent. A lovely experience. The bill for two was JPY 27,000 including drinks (beer).

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  • Gary S

    While it's been almost two years since I ate at Ten Ichi, my write up in my blog was still accessible so I checked my memories before writing here. The tempura was certainly beautifully done, but it was not top class. I was certain that we were really paying for the atmosphere and the ability to say we'd eaten at the supposedly best Tempura restaurant in the world. Having said that, 3 days earlier I had eaten at Tsunahachi in Shinjuku. This highly popular haunt (you have to stand in queue outside to get to the waiting seats on the inside) was about a third of the price, superior tempura, and seafood was straight out of a tank and killed in front of you (filleting a live eel is not for the squeemish).