It’s been a good year for Japanophiles in Singapore. We’ve managed to get a slice of Japan with all the Japanese-centric events that have dotted our little island, and food establishments that have made their home in Singapore, like the Japanese food enclaves, Michelin-starred Tsuta ramen restaurant, the new Japan Rail Café and the elusive unagi-only noshery, Man Man by Teppei. To add on to that list, Osaka’s oldest premium tempura restaurant is setting up its first Southeast Asian outpost at the idyllic Dempsey neighborhood.
Chef Masaru Seki, who is the fifth-generation member of the founding family of Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh is bringing the same revered Osaka-style tempura to directly from the Tokyo Ginza restaurant to Singapore, along with strict culinary traditions that dates all the way back to 1850. He’ll be helming the kitchen from time to time.
This 1,200-sq ft restaurant can seat up to 18 diners, 12 of which are at the tempura bar where you can witness first-hand how these golden beauties are made. Unlike other tempuras, theirs are light yet crispy as it is fried in safflower oil to lock in the flavors without all that greasiness. There are a few lunch ($60-$100) and dinner sets ($140-$200) to choose from, which comes with kakiage, rice and miso soup, as well as sashimi for the pricier sets. The only difference between the different sets is the number of tempuras being served. There’ll also be a specially curated selection of sakes, wines and beers that will go well with the tempuras.