Tempura is best eaten with the accompaniment of a dipping sauce because these two always comes as a pair! The dipping sauce is usually made from tentsuyu sauce mixed with daikon and a bit of grated ginger.
There are also cases on which the tempura is sprinkled with a touch of salt when dipping sauce is not available. Most restaurants that serve tempura provides both the sauce and salt for their customers. This article will guide you to the best places where you can enjoy tempura in Shinjuku. So if you are craving to eat some great tasting tempura, be sure to visit these 10 places to satisfy your food cravings!
1. Funabashiya Honten Restaurant (船橋屋 本店)
This tempura house is quite famous in Shinjuku and you will often find yourself
standing in a long queue, especially if you go there during peak hours of the day. The smell of freshly cooked tempura makes your mouth water as you wait for your turn to get served.
Funabashiya Honten is also referred to as the oldest tempura restaurant in Shinjuku (with a rich history of over 100 years, at least that is what their regular customers say).
Address: 3 Chome-28-14 Shinjuku, Shinjukuku, Tokyo
2. Tenhide (天秀)
Finding Tenhide in Shinjuku is not an easy task. It is situated in an alley and the shop looks old fashioned. However, once you enter and taste their tempura you’ll be amazed and would become one of their regular customers! Some people say that the oil and special salt that they use to cook their tempura is the secret of the store’s success.
Address: 7-12-21, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
3. Tempura Tsunahachi So-Honten (新宿つな八 総本店)
This tempura house gives off a cozy and warm atmosphere. The staff and chef are very friendly and would often give advice and recommendations on which sauces or condiments is best for each dish. Your orders will arrive in an orderly pace and before you know it, you’re already full!
Address: 3-31-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture
4. Tenkichiya Shinjuku (天吉屋 新宿店)
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to tempura without compromising the taste then it would be best to give Tenkichiya Tempura House in Shinjuku a visit. Their very own signature dish “ten-mabushi” is a unique way of enjoying a tempura rice bowl with additional tempura soup. Their fried shrimp, squid, kidney beans, roasted liver and eggplant combination is guaranteed to satisfy any tempura lover!
Address: 1-26-2, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Shinjuku
5. Tenkane (天兼)
Tenkane is a family owned restaurant that is also called one of the hidden gems in Shinjuku. You get to enjoy several courses of tempura, like shrimp, vegetables, fish, eel, and shellfish. It’s a bit tricky to find the place and if you are lucky you’ll be able to sit on one of the twelve seats that occupy the store. If not, then you’ll just have to wait for your turn like everyone else.
Address: 1 Chome-5-1 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.tenkane.jp/ (Japanese Only)
6. Tempura Takashichi (高七)
Tempura Takashichi is a small restaurant that is found between Wakamatsu Kawata Station and Waseda Station. This shop is almost always crowded because it is very popular in the area. Their special set meal includes sashimi, tempura, miso soup, rice and pickles and surprisingly it is enough to satisfy your hunger.
Take note that the tempura set menu of Takashichi is only available during lunch time.
Address: 36-27 Wakamatsucho Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
7. Kushi Tempura Dandanya (串天ぷら段々屋)
What makes Kushi Tempura Dandanya unique from the rest is that they had added original “Kushi Tempura” on their menu. Kushi is prepared almost the same as tempura and the only difference is that Kushi dishes have skewers attached to them. Although both of them are deep fried, Kushi dishes have a different batter compared to the traditional batter of Tempura.
Address: 1-14-2, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Kojima Building B1F to 4F
8. KOBIKICHO TENKUNI (木挽町 天國)
Aside from mastering the art of cooking tempura, Kobikicho Tenkuni also specializes
in serving Kakiage. For those who don’t know, Kakiage is similar to tempura and the ingredients used for it has a very wide variety. Some of the simple recipes are chopped seafood and vegetables mixed together in a batter and deep-fried until it becomes golden brown. It is usually served on top of a bowl of rice and best eaten as soon as possible!
Address: Takashimaya Times Square 14F, 5-24-2, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0051
9. Tendon TENYA (天丼てんや)
Tendon TENYA is a well known Tempura Food chain that is popular in Shinjuku. For a price of ¥1,000 per person, you are bound to enjoy your meal because the servings are enough to sate your hunger. Another advantage of going to this restaurant is that they have an English Menu for those who don’t know any Japanese.
Address: 3 Chome-31-2 Shinjuku, Shinjukuku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.tenya.co.jp/shop/tokyo/shinjuku/shinjyukuhigashi.html (Japanese Only)
10. Iwamotokyu (いわもとQ)
If you don’t mind going to a standing style restaurant to enjoy a cheap and delicious meal of tempura soba, then Iwamotokyu (いわもとQ) will suit you perfectly! Of course, there are also a few seats that are available but most of the time, you’ll be standing when you visit this place. The delicious taste of the soba noodles accompanied by the crispy tempura makes the effort of standing in line worth the wait.
Address: 1 Chome-4-8 Kabukicho Shinjukuku, Tokyo
Restaurant Data is as of October 2016
Thumbnail is from Flickr