Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tempura: the Japanese restaurant with a flair for fried seafood!

Last September 17, 2015, Mr. Ramon Dy of Social Light Inc. invited me to savor the unique Japanese flavors of Tempura! Located in Trinoma, this branch has already existed for several years now. At this point in time, though, they have been active in inviting bloggers to try out their food offerings. I am thankful to have been fortunate enough to been selected for this generous venture.

According to Ms. Cas, the Marketing Manager, Tempura was once a grill-type Japanese restaurant that had stoves used for cooking on the spot. However, the recent brand revamp of the establishment created a menu that focused on three things: seafood, breading, and fried cooking. Hence, the restaurant retained the name Tempura while dropping the words Japanese Grill in its name. At this stage, Tempura aims to become known as Manila's best tempura joint.

According to Ms. Cas, the menu caters to a variety of tastes. There are pork and beef selections on the menu so as not to alienate meat lovers. They offer classic favorites such as tonkatsu and sukiyaki. For groups such as office workers, Tempura has the Party bundles which include sushi and viand plates. 

The itinerary for the afternoon was the sampling of 5 varieties of Seafood Tempura dishes. Since, these were the specialties of the restaurant, I expected nothing but the best. True enough, I got what I expected.  The seafood was the bestselling product, particularly the King Sized Prawn Tempura. The latter was garnished with lemon and leeks. The three pieces of gigantic seafood was more than what our group can handle. The servings were cut into huge and juicy chunks. Taste-wise, I'd say it was the best Shrimp Tempura I had in a while. The meat was evidently fresh. There was no pungent smell from the chunks. The lemon and leeks gave it a zesty flavor. Also, The crispy breading that it was cooked in accentuated the texture. One can contrast the soft and tender meat with the crispy and firm breading and get satisfaction in tasting one of the best cooked tempura in the city.

The second part of our repertoire consisted of oyster tempura. It was ball-shaped with crusty breading. This one, though had a distinct saltiness. the oyster meat was soft and was still fresh, as well. I especially enjoyed it with the tempura sauce lightly drizzled on the fine crust. I couldn't satiate my cravings for the Soft Shelled Crab Tempura, though. As an avid lover of crab, I have honed my discerning taste for the crustacean. I surely wondered if it would pass my standards. Once again, there was no question as to the freshness. Furthermore, the dish wasn't brimming with oil. It was fried to perfection. The taste was also remarkable. There were no jarring moments of bitterness or saltiness as I chewed on the meat.

Lastly, the Japanese Sea Scallops were the easiest to digest of the lot. It came in bite sized pieces akin to the small doughnuts sold by a popular joint. The taste was impeccable. Still no question about the freshness. This time though, I love the fact that the dish convinced the group that scallops aren't supposed to be underrated compared to crab or shrimp. They had their distinct strengths and unique flavor that can surely satisfy a customer.

Tempura also had a variety of shakes. I chose the Banana Nut shake. Fortunately, it wasn't too sweet for my palate. It served to temper the taste of the aforementioned fried delights.

None of this was complete without the famed Kaizen rice. The orange-colored rice was topped with fried pork and carrots. It had dilis on the side. The rice was combed with veggies to enhance color and flavor. It was a bit oily, but that wasn't an issue for me. I just kept on getting spoonfuls of it to complement the dishes.

Dessert took the floor! We savored their Praline Mousse Ganache, Green Tea Ice Cream, and Molten Lava Cake. I preferred eating the Green Tea ice cream together with the Molten Lava Cake. The Molten Lava had a generous helping of vanilla ice cream. Strangely, both had a distinct bittersweet taste was highly addictive. I rarely recommend desserts with bittersweet tastes, but this one is an exception for the quality. On the other hand, the Praline Mousse Ganache was a generous helping of a layered cake good for two to three people. It had a flavor reminiscent of mocha. I did love it as well for its generous helping of chocolate all over.

In sum, Tempura gave me a memorable Japanese dining experience fit for a shogun. Fresh ingredients, artistic presentation, and vibrant tastes have made the food here something to come back to in the future. 

For those interested, you can visit Tempura at 2nd floor Trinoma, North Edsa Quezon City. Prices start at above 250 per solo dish. Their number is 916-7007. You can also visit their facebook page at 

The story in pictures:

The Magnificent King Size Prawn Tempura

Another shot

Soft Shelled Crab Tempura

Another shot

The shakes: Banana Nut and Cucumber 

The sushi menu

The pineapple watermelon shake

Ms. Cas explaining the menu

Mam Cie eagerly looking at the menu

The tempura menu

A full page spread for the King Prawn tempura - their crowning glory

The facade of the branch

The interiors



Group Meal promo

The dining area where we sat

The dining area

Ms. Cas showing the bestsellers

The mosaic of a ceiling

Party tray variants for groups

Oyster Tempura!

The selection of seafood with the rice

Kaizen Rice in a meticulous arrangement

Another shot

Ready to rumble!

Japanese sea scallops

Tempura sauce

The food for taste test


Praline Mousse Ganache

My plate

The entire repertoire

Molten Lava Cake

Green Tea Ice Cream

Tempura Japanese Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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