On my last day in Tokyo, my dad took us out for a wonderful lunch – one that we had saved for that day, knowing that enough time had passed since the New Year that there was fresh fish a-plenty in restaurants again. It was also somewhat celebratory, as my sister and I had performed the night before and it was our first (and final, for a while at least) day of all play and no work!
If you love tempura (who doesn’t?!), there is simply nothing that compares to the experience of sitting at a counter and having the chefs fry whatever you fancy, right in front of your eyes. The fish and seafood are alive until the second they get fried, in the lightest batter you can imagine, and there is no greasiness or heaviness as they give you your order of choice, as fresh as can be. Most places have a few different salt options, as well as the standard tentsuyu (although I prefer salt to tentsuyu for the most part). We went to Funabashiya near Tokyo Station (there’s a great English info page about it here) in the Shin Maru building (a fun building with great shops).
We had prawns (they fry up the head and it turns into crispy deliciousness – no time to be squeamish!), oysters, whiting, lotus root, aubergine, crab claw, megochi… I’m sure my parents and sister had different things too that I’m forgetting. And then to top it all off, we shared two bowls of “Ten-don” – a sort of mixed tempura on top of rice, with a special sauce, which is insanely delicious. Needless to say, we were absolutely stuffed and had plenty of fuel for an afternoon of shopping!
I felt utterly spoilt and it was the perfect last lunch to wrap up my trip – don’t worry, there’s more from my days in Japan coming, I just seem to be going backwards. I guess I really couldn’t get this tempura out of my head…