Now a little history on tempura, which is one of the core Japanese dishes renowned worldwide... The deep-fried cuisine similar to fritters was introduced to Japan in the 16th-17th centuries by Chinese and Western visitors. Since oil was used for lamps and considered precious at the time, deep-fried dishes were reserved for very special occasions. Late in the 18th century, tempura stalls began appearing along the streets of Japan. Since then, tempura has been served with tentsuyu sauce and grated Japanese radish. Tempura is also traditionally served with green tea salt. Tsunahachi also provided regular white salt, seaweed salt and shiso salt. Most funny was the instruction sheet that we were handed to explain how to properly make your dipping sauce and/or when to use the salt.
A big part of the pleasure was watching the chefs work, preparing the seafood, vegetables and batter and carefully frying each piece before delivering it to the serving tray in front of each customer. Our menus included tempura prawn, vegetables, white fish, eel, scallops and shrimp stuffed clam. When we were presented with each item, the chef would usually remark whether the piece was best with sauce or salt.
|strips of white fish|
|stuffed clam, scallop|
Overall, our impression of Tsunahachi is that they've maintained their high standards while managing to keep prices very reasonable. Similar to sushi chefs, tempura chefs are skilled and provide an entertaining show to diners seated at the counter. Call ahead of time to avoid waiting in line.
Total Rating: 4.23
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 4
What I ate:
fresh prawn, white fish, eel, scallops, shrimp stuffed clam, eggplant