The Tempura Bowl That Took Singapore by Storm Is Now in Manila

Tempura takes the spotlight at this new resto.

Tendon Kohaku
3/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio
Contact: 838-2476
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday), and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday to Saturday)




( While Singaporeans don’t mind waiting in line for at least an hour to grab a rice bowl at Tendon Kohaku, you know there’s definitely more to their tendon—tempura + donburi or tempura rice bowls—than just being a trendy food craze. Luckily, you don’t need to book a flight to Singapore to see what all the fuss is about.




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Tendon Kohaku puts the spotlight on tempura, a staple in most Japanese restaurants. Hubert Young of UCC Coffee, who's also known for introducing Mitsuyado Sei-men and Coco Ichibanya brings to Manila a specialty store from Kings Know, Inc. that sets a higher bar for tendon.





There is an art to everything the Japanese do, and food preparation is no exception. Get front-row seats to the open kitchen by the bar and prepare to be mesmerized by their meticulousness in preparing tempura. You won’t even realize you’re already drooling while waiting; and good thing the wait won't be long—with their efficiency, bowls fly right out of the kitchen.


The food is straightforward with ingredients sourced straight from Japan. “The flavors are clean and simple, but they highlight the fresh and high-quality ingredients used,” says franchise marketing officer Tatiana Paz.



Original Kohaku Tendon


The crispy kohaku or amber-colored coating on the wild tiger prawns, squid, chicken breast, crab stick, green beans, shiitake, young corn, and pumpkin that come with the Original Kohaku Tendon (P340) allows the succulence of the meat and vegetables to shine through. Their special tempura sauce goes well with the naturally sweet prawns and the light, savory batter.


Dig through your tasty tempura to find a bed of Japanese rice, which can be switched to the healthier multi-grain rice option. Every bowl is served with pickled yuzu radish and miso soup to cleanse the palate after the hearty meal. 


Spicy Seafood Tendon


The tendon also has the right touch of heat to complement the wild tiger prawns, scallops, kisu (small fish), tuna, squid, and oyster of the Spicy Seafood Tendon (P480). Pro-tip: You can also order more of the oysters a la carte from their secret menu.



Hot Niku Udon


If you’re looking to pair tempura with a different carb, Tendon Kohaku also has udon bowls that can be served hot or cold. The steaming broth of the Hot Niku Udon (P280) with sprinkled chives is surprisingly light, while the thinly sliced pork and noodles have a satisfying bite to them.



Red Chili Tuna Roll


Sushi rolls and side dishes have been included in the Philippine menu “because Filipinos like ordering a lot, especially with the family,” says Tatiana. The Red Chili Tuna Roll (P290) may be small, but the creamy, spicy dressing that is delicately drizzled over the fresh tuna definitely packs a punch.


Make sure you come to Tendon Kohaku with an empty stomach, and get ready to satisfy a craving for tendon that you never knew you had. Judging from the queues in Singapore, you might have to bring some patience with you, too.


Photos by Hans Fausto


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