Sherman's Food Adventures: Tendon Kohaku

Tendon Kohaku

Even though Japanese Tendon (no, not the Chinese offal dish...) hit our city over a year ago, I wasn't all that interested in trying it out.  Much like my prejudgement on Hello Nori, I dismissed it as an expensive fad.  However, as I spoke to more and more people, it became apparent that I could be wrong (just like Hello Nori, which I ended up liking).  So I ended up visiting Tendon Kohaku for lunch to see for myself.

I guess the obvious choice was to order their largest bowl in the Anago Tendon with rice, Kohaku Tendon sauce, anago, 2 prawns, chicken, French beans, shiitake, lotus root and soft fried egg.  Okay, I'll admit when I'm wrong.  This was pretty delicious with crispy tempura which was light and not greasy.  It was aggressively sauced, but was neither soggy nor salty.  It was on the sweeter side and provided just enough flavour for the rice.  I particularly enjoyed large piece of eel.  So buttery.

If one wanted something a bit lighter, there is the Kaisen Don with salmon, tuna, scallops, ikura, green onion, cucumber, sesame seed, wasabi and kaisen sauce.  Although the pieces of fish were a bit uneven in size, they were fresh and buttery.  There was more than enough it for the amount of chewy rice underneath.  This wasn't seasoned that aggressively, but then again, it let the ingredients shine.

So for those who can't decide one way or another, there is the Sashimi Aimori Tendon with rice, Kohaku Tendon sauce, 2 prawns, chicken, French beans, kabocha pumpkin, kaisen sauce, salmon, tuna, scallops, ikura, green onion, cucumber, sesame seed and wasabi.  This was the best of both worlds and my pick of the menu.  The sashimi mix helped balance out the fried items real well.  The combination of flavours worked well too.

To sample more of the menu we also got the Nagoya Chicken Wings.  These whole wings were fried up until crispy on the outside, yet still juicy and tender on the inside.  The skin was well-rendered and easy to eat.  The Nagoya sauce was not very salty, much like the Tendon sauce.  It was mostly sweet and complimented the chicken well.  There is also a spicy version, which I would probably order next time.

To compliment our rice bowls, we got the Ikura Ajitama as well.  I've been making ramen eggs at home all throughout the pandemic, so I know to get these to the ones you see in the picture can be tricky.  The yolk was uniformly custardy yet not cooked through.  Also, the eggs were not over-marinated so they did not get hard nor too salty while at the same time being flavourful.  Well done and delicious.
Lastly, we tried the Chawanmushi which was also prepared nicely.  Beyond the silkiness of the egg itself, the flavour of the broth was so full of umami without being over-seasoned.  There was the requisite shrimp and chicken hidden within and this made for a pleasant side dish.  Overall, I was surprised at the level of execution, especially since they just opened a few months ago.  I also liked how the sauces were flavourful without being salty.  I would come back.

The Good:
- Expertly prepared tempura
- Salt content is balanced
- Pretty good service

The Bad:
- If you don't like fried food, you might have limited options
- Not the best location if you are driving


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