Tempura omakase — the idea of “let the chef decide”, coupled with premium deep-fried bites — is not a new concept in Bangkok. Yet, rarely do we come across a tempura omakase experience as scrupulously premium as that of Ginza Tenharu. The brainchild of the team behind Bangkok’s one-Michelin-starred Ginza Sushi Ichi, Ginza Tenharu is is all about offering guests the very best of ingredients and taste, through applying techniques passed down over 400 years from Japan’s Edo period.
With top-quality ingredients freshly flown in daily from Japan’s Toyosu Market, to secret seasoning blends especially paired for each bite, Ginza Tenharu redefines the idea of tempura omakase in Bangkok — taking it to completely new heights. But exactly how good is Bangkok’s best? Here’s our verdict.
In a Nutshell
Tucked into a small nook on Gaysorn Tower’s third floor, Ginza Tenharu’s exteriors are a reflection of the interiors and brand philosophy within — clean, minimal, and so discreet you almost miss it. Almost. When we entered through the tastefully understated doorway, nearly all the 12 seats around the sushi-style counter had already been taken — clearly the near-hidden entrance has not affected Bangkok’s penchant for discovering all things great and unmissable.
Behind the counter, two Japanese chefs — originally from the mother branch in Ginza, Tokyo — work two glass-covered frying pans. Their jovial personas and lighthearted banter offers a comforting contrast from the clean-cut ambiance — there’s a definite sense of sophistication, but never to the point of being overly uptight.
What to Eat
The tempura bites here are prepared using ancient Edo Ma-E techniques, that have been painstakingly passed down over the past three to four-hundred years. As part of the technique, the chefs place the flour-covered ingredients into oil heated at 200°C and — get this — would also dip their fingers into the oil after it, to ensure prime crispiness. Sunflower oil is used to fry the delicate pieces for a more healthy approach to the popular Japanese delicacy, and the oil is changed after every group for extra cleanliness and full flavour.
Open for lunch and dinner, each meal comes with two course options (price details included below). The most extensive option is the Oborotsuki course, which comes with a seasonal appetizer, 12 servings of tempura, a salad, as well as a main course selection and finally, a seasonal dessert. Expect the likes of gigantic and juicy hokkaido scallops, generous servings of sea urchin and crab, and even a fresh selection of sashimi to balance things out.
With each bite, the chefs will offer a recommendation of which seasoning to use for optimum taste. Do note that it’s very likely you’ll be full by the time you reach the main course — where you get to pick between soba noodles or rice bowl, both of which are notably hearty — but you should still definitely make room for dessert.
The pudding offers a sweet finale to an indulgent meal, but our favourite is most definitely the mochi wrapped ice-cream — cool, decadent, and just the right amount of sweet that is far from overbearing, the simple dessert is enough to have us coming back for a second round just to try it again.
What to Drink
While the tempura reigns supreme here, Ginza Tenharu also does alcohol pairings, offering a choice between sake or wine. Wine-wise, expect a list that is to the point and predominantly old world, complementing a few champagnes, Japanese beers, whiskies, and a selection of fruit liqueur. While both options are worth trying, it’s the sake that really has our hearts. Superb quality, the sake is smooth and pairs perfectly with the dishes served.For lunch, the Oborotsuki Course comes at THB3,000 while the Koto Course comes at THB1,800. For dinner, the Oborotsuki Course sets you back THB6,500 while the Yugiri Course comes at THB4,500. Closed on Mondays. To reserve your seats or find out more, call 0 2070 0014, or visit ginza-tenharu.jp.