Dinner @ Tempura Kohaku 天丼琥珀

July 20, 2016 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Although Tempura Kohaku opened only 2.5 weeks ago (on 2 July to be exact), word has already gotten out fast and far. Oh yes, one can tell by the long queue that has already formed at the eatery. Ha.

And wanting to beat the queue, my friend and I thought it was a brilliant idea to come late. However, when we arrived at 8.45pm, we were stunned to see a long queue! There were more than 15 people in front of us. I guess we must have thought alike. If not, 8.45pm wasn’t late enough!

We queued for 40 minutes; From 8.45pm to 9.25pm. And at 9.20pm, the staff came out to put a barrier after the last queuing customer. So I guess one should come by 9.15pm in order not to make a wasted trip. Although a couple did come at 9.40pm, and was allowed to join the (short) queue as the kitchen feedback there was sufficient rice.

Tempura Kohaku is one of the few concepts brought in by Eat At Seven. And if one is trying to locate one’s way with Suntec City’s interactive directory, search with ‘Eat @ Seven – Kohaku’ instead of ‘Kohaku’ or ‘Tempura Kohaku’.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Pickled cabbage, Complimentary (above) – Apparently this side dish changes. Pickled radish was offered on the previous week.

2) Vegetables tendon set, $18.50 comprised of:-

(A) Vegetables tendon (above) – 2 sauces are offered; Original or spicy. I went with original. And there were 8 pieces of tempura in my rice bowl; 2 long bean, 2 mushroom, 1 asparagus, 1 corn, 1 lady finger and 1 pumpkin. The rice bowl could also be ordered as an a-la carte item at $14. And of the vegetables offered, I enjoyed the pumpkin and long bean. However, that said, I didn’t like the batter. It was soggy. And it certainly has nothing to do with my photo-taking which was completed in less than 30 seconds. Ha.

(B) Udon (above) – My bowl of udon, served with a slice of fish cake, came before my tempura rice bowl. And this was slurped up within 5 minutes cause I was really hungry (at 9.35pm). Though majorly, it was because the udon was really good. I like that they included tempura bits too. And if one needs a spoon, just raise one’s hand and request for it from the staff. Although I enjoyed my noodles without. Soup somehow taste better when the bowl is lifted up to one’s mouth. That’s me. Haha. And the udon certainly helped to keep the hungry me sane as it was a 15 minutes wait (upon seated) before our tendon was served.

3) Kohaku tendon spicy flavour, $15 (above) – Comprised of 2 prawns, 1 chicken breast, 1 crab stick, 1 calamari, 2 long bean, 1 mushroom, 1 corn and 1 pumpkin. And costing only $1 more than the vegetables tendon, ordering this non-vegetarian bowl makes more sense cause one gets so much more (in terms of ingredients and value-for-money)! And to upgrade to a set which entitles one to a bowl of udon, it would be an additional $4.50. And similarly, it’s the batter that disappoints; It wasn’t light and crispy.

4) Green tea, $2With free refill. I liked that the staff did not hesitant to refill our half-empty cups even though we had finished our food. You know how some staff won’t top up the glasses cause they are thinking we are leaving and they don’t want to ‘waste’ water.

Would I recommend Tempura Kohaku? Unfortunately, no. It’s inevitable to compare Tempura Kohaku with Tendon Ginza Itsuki since they are probably the 2 known eateries which specialise in tempura.

Both shops draw long queues. However, in terms of price and value for money, Tendon Ginza Itsuki fares better. A set of non-vegetarian tempura rice bowl with steamed egg custard and miso soup at Tendon Ginza Itsuki cost only $13.90 compared to Tempura Kohaku’s $19.50 set. Although one may argue that the latter entitled one to a bowl of udon. However, I am very sure Tendon Ginza Itsuki beats Tempura Kohaku hands down when it comes to taste. Tempura Kohaku’s tempura batter was soggy upon served. My friend even described it as greasy.

But if one is in Suntec City and insists on trying Tempura Kohaku, please go with the non-vegetarian option. The vegetables tendon was definitely overpriced.

And thankfully, my friend and I didn’t stink when we left the restaurant. I guess it helped that we were sitting at the counter, directly in front of the glass panel which stood between us and the (splattering) oil?

3 Temasaek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall (Tower One), #03-310/311, Singapore
6333 43861, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 22:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
Service: 6