SINGAPORE: Tempura is a Japanese dish that takes fresh ingredients such as seafood and vegetables, battered and deep-fried. A simple batter is made from egg, flour, and ice water, creating a light and crispy coating. It is served either with a dipping sauce, Tentsuyu or over a rice bowl, Tendon.
Tempura masters take years to train. He not only need to ensure the ingredients are cooked just right, but he also needs to master the aesthetics of each piece. The presentation of the tempura is like a work of art. At times, it is too pretty to be eaten.
Tempura Makino, a tenpura-ya, started in 2006 in Japan, serving tempura at an affordable price. With more than ten outlets in Japan, the outlet in Suntec is the first of the two planned in Singapore. The second outlet is at Vivo City. Dining at Tempura Makino, you can look forward to having the unlimited serving of homemade yuzu daikon. It is a perfect palate cleanser between each piece of tempura.
We started with the Makino Special Tendon (S$25). This big bowl of rice comes with Kisu Fish, Anago, Squid, Maitake, Butternut pumpkin, French bean and three freaking pieces of prawns. We were so overwhelmed that we were not too sure where to start. To reach the rice, I have to move half of the tempura onto a plate. This was when I discovered a surprise in this bowl. There is a tempura egg! I was expecting the egg to be well cooked, at least for the egg white, but I never expected that this would be like a soft boiled egg. Not only do you get the runny yolk, but the egg white is runny too. Stir in the yolk, and now you get a bowl of extra creamy, eggy rice. Amazing!!
The second set we had was the Makino Tendon & Soba Set (S$25). It is similar to the Makino Tendon set, except here, you only get one piece of prawn, and you don't get Kisu Fish and Anago. Instead, you get a good serving of cold soba. I am a big soba fan, and I can tell you this is not like the cold soba you get from Don Don Donki. This might be the most al dente soba I have tasted so far. The distinct bite and chew make you want to have more and more.
At Tempura Makino, there are many items you can order ala carte. You cannot find most of these items in other tempura restaurants. We tried the following.
Uni Ohba S$8.8
Mentai Seaweed S$6.8
I love their Corn and Vegetables Kakiage (S$3.8)! Usually, a kakiage is just a deep-fried flat piece of shredded vegetables that doesn't taste good. Here, you get this lovely ball of goodness. The corn and onion go so well together. If you don't like onion, this will not be your thing.
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall, #02-305/308/311, Singapore 038983