Tempura Tendon Tenya Singapore at Orchard Central is the first Singapore outlet of Japan’s top tendon chain restaurant which has roots in the historical district of Asakusa in Tokyo. Tenya Singapore does not currently accept reservations. We went early hoping to avoid a queue.
According to their website, Tenya has 189 stores in Japan and several in other countries. Tempura Tendon Tenya Singapore Orchard Central opened in mid-October 2020. They also intend to open more stores “throughout Singapore with a concentration in the suburban heartlands”.
The Queue at Tempura Tendon Tenya Singapore Orchard Central
It seems that one reason for Tenya’s success is its effective pricing strategy. In Singapore, it is said that Tenya’s Tendon will be offered at 25% lesser than the average price of its competitors.
We thought we were early, but 11.30 am on a weekday was not early enough. It was full and there there was a wait-list. Fortunately, the staff members took our mobile numbers so that we did not have to stand in queue. We spent 20 minutes at nearby Tokyu Hands before receiving a call to tell us that our table was ready.
Tenya Singapore is tucked away in a corner of basement 1 of Orchard Central. Its immediate neighbours are Maccha House and Tokyu Hands. Use these more visible places to navigate.
The Tenya Singapore restaurant is quite a tight space with different types of dining set-ups. The best seats are in the two booths right inside the restaurant. The communal tables with stools are probably the most uncomfortable. Diners get a good view of what happens in the kitchen through the large glass windows (picture below).
Tempura Tendon Tenya Singapore Menu
We were directed to access an online menu of Tenya Singapore when we were seated, but the ordering had to be done via a member of the staff. Replicas of various types of Tenya tendon are available for viewing at the entrance to the restaurant. We selected a Tenya Premium Tendon ($10.90) and a Premium Tempura Soba ($16.30).
Our Tenya Premium Tendon looked lovely. It is rice topped with two prawns, squid, crab stick and a few vegetables. Everything about it is good. The rice was sweet and chewy. The tempura toppings were wonderful, but we felt they would be even better if there were more Tenya’s Tendon Tare sauce which is made with grilled eel essence.
The Premium Tempura Soba was more expensive but turned out to be more ordinary by comparison. A plate of cold soba was accompanied by a tempura dish made up of three prawns and some vegetables. The tempura part was good but not as special as tempura items coated with the special Tenya sauce. Similarly the soba was also fine but not as tasty as the rice.
Suggestions for Next Visit
Our note to ourselves for our next visit: (1) Avoid meal times as the waiting time to get in and food to arrive was almost 40 minutes. (2) The rice dishes are more special than the soba dishes (and cheaper as well). (3) Order the biggest tendon dish. A diner at our next table ordered a Seafood Tendon ($12.90) and it was stuffed with tempura items. It is probably the best tendon deal in Singapore that we know of.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Tempura Tendon Tenya Singapore
181 Orchard Road
#B1-01 Orchard Central
Monday to Sunday
11am to 10pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog