Japanese restaurant review: Tempura at Ten Yoshi in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Incredible Hokkaido cheese fondue experience with tempura
Well, it’s nearly winter now which means it’s perfectly okay to pile on the pounds right? No? Either way, I couldn’t resist being a glutton at Ten Yoshi the other week. The Causeway Bay tempura restaurant launched a new Hokkaido cheese fondue ($280 for five seafood and three fruit tempura options) and I had to see what that was all about. Because fried food and fancy cheese? Yes, please…
Though it’s located in a fancy-ish commercial building, it feels a bit like a hole-in-the-wall. Once the elevator doors open, guests see a tempura counter that seats around 10 on the left side. There are a handful of regular tables filling up the rest of the restaurant. The décor is classic and clean. Nothing is overly trendy or modern, yet it would be a nice, cozy choice for a dinner with friends, or even a date. Especially if the person you want to impress is a fan of trying new foods or flavour combinations.
My favourite (and it was hard to pick a favourite) part of our meal was the fruit tempura. It was a bit like starting with dessert, dunking hunks of juicy persimmon and apple into the gooey, melted cheese. The cheese was slightly sweet and very creamy, a bit like cream cheese meets brie. It’s also all you can eat here so we really dunked into and poured on the sauce.
After completing the fondue, we dug into…more tempura. The quality of the ingredients at Ten Yoshi really are excellent. My jaw dropped when the Hokkaido oysters ($120) were presented to us. They were absolutely massive. And this wasn’t a case of bigger meaning bland flavour. The oysters were full of flavour, and deep frying them somehow gave them a sinful twist while allowing them to remain mostly raw.
I don’t know how anyone could resist otoro or fatty tuna ($300), and deep frying it almost seemed like a waste. But, again, deep frying the otoro turned it into pops of sinful, fatty, and still mostly raw goodness. This absolutely melted in the mouth.
My other favourites were the crab claw (price on request), and the crab shell salad in a monaka shell ($60). For the latter, I find the popped fragrance of rice flour wafers so delicious, and the salad itself was fresh and creamy.
I really can’t find much, if anything, to dislike about Ten Yoshi. I suppose the tempura uni wasn’t my favourite. There was too much seaweed wrapping a small amount of uni, and the batter/wrapper overwhelmed the delicate flavour of the uni. But overall, despite eating an entire meal of deep fried food and melted cheese, I left feeling surprisingly well. For this, I pay tribute to Katagiri-san for his amazing skills. Next time you’re craving a cheat meal, consider trying out food prepared by a tempura chef with 39 years of experience.
Henry House, 42 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay, 2805 7848