After reminiscing about our recent eating experiences in Japan, we decided to address our craving for Japanese food by having lunch at one of Singapore’s highly regarded Japanese restaurants, the Tenshin restaurant 天信 which is located at the Regent Hotel along Cuscaden Road.
Tenshin is decorated very simply with the use of plain wooden furniture. The only embellishment to the premises is provided by way of some paintings adorning the walls. You have a choice of sitting either at the long tempura counter where you can watch the chefs prepare the food or at one of the tables that line the wall. We opted for the counter seating as we like to have the food served to us as soon as they are prepared. This was especially important when we are ordering one of the set lunch menus. At the counter, you get served each item individually so you can pace the meal at a slow constant tempo. Those seated at the tables have their tempura items cooked simultaneously and served as one dish. The presentation of all the items in one go actually looks better but some items will get cold and get less fresh.
For lunch, Tenshin has a set lunch menu that offers six choices ranging from a basic tempura set ($30) to a mini kaiseki ($86). We opted for the Tenshin lunch ($60). The meal started with a cold tofu skin appetizer and a salad. The salad was quite average. The tofu was fresh and smooth and reminded us of the one that we were served in an izakaya restaurant at Akasaka Mitsuke, Tokyo.
The tempura dishes started flowing after that, starting with the two prawns which were of an average size but were fresh and with good texture and natural flavour. This was followed by three types of vegetables: some sort of long beans, pumpkin and mushroom. The pumpkin and mushroom were very good. The tempura items were all well prepared with the batter very light and evenly coating the contents within. Our only complaint was that the items were so few and the tempura flow ended too quickly!
In traditional Japanese meal fashion, the meal was made complete by the staple items of chawan mushi, miso soup, rice and pickles. In our case, the rice served was garnished with slices of raw tuna that had been marinated. The tuna slices looked very enticing with their translucent appearance. They also tasted good – fresh and with a bouncy texture. Special mention also should be made of the chawan mushi. The egg was made very smooth. The broth was very tasty and the addition of some sharks fin on the top added a touch of luxury to this everyday dish. The meal ended with a lightly flavoured sorbet.
We had an enjoyable lunch at Tenshin. It is clearly one of the best tempura restaurants in Singapore. It is advisable to call ahead to make a reservation for lunch as it seems to be a very popular place. On the day of our visit on a weekday, the place was almost full.
#03-01 The Regent Singapore
1 Cuscaden Road
Singapore 249 715
Tel: 6735 4588