I must say, Tenza Izakaya: Sumibiyaki and Sake Bar is quite a mouthful! Try saying that out loud once and fast. Hah. I’ve decided to give this a try because I’ve never heard of this place in the West, and I was just browsing through for somewhere new to eat in, and saw this.
The trip there is going to be anal if you’re taking public transport to and fro. It’s a hidden find, meaning it’s going to take you some time to walk / find the restaurant somewhere in Sunset Way. Or well, it all depends on your navigation skills. I must say though, upon reaching, I was quite pleased with the whole set up. The indoor seatings were all bar-seats. So of course we had the outdoors’. It wasn’t too bad (unless you’re there in the afternoon, then it might be a different story), the lights, the dusk, the sky, the greens, coupled with its sleek black theme for the restaurant. It’s quite a comfortable feeling.
If I’m not mistaken, it’s sweet cabbage that they served as complimentary appetizer upon settling down. It doesn’t taste as bad as it looks (being a natural anti-most-veggie person) when matched with the sauce. You can most probably give it a try or two, it’s relatively safe for a veggie-hater too.
Green Apple Cooler ($5.80++) :: If it’s any possible, it actually tastes more cooling than its name. Love the shaved ice. Love the flavorful overall taste of it. Worth getting one to quench your thirst, especially if you just walked in from the train station / bus stop.
Kaisen Yakimeshi ($6++) :: As always, fried rice served in Japanese Restaurants are presented so appetizingly. But, it’s nothing to rave about, nothing memorable. Give this a miss – order some other side dishes instead.
Enoki Maki ($2.40++) :: It’s that price for a stick of 4. I’d order this (golden mushroom + bacon) whenever and wherever possible. It’s like a combination of my favorite veggie and favorite meat. It’s pretty alright, although Ippudo Tao‘s rendition of it is definitely better. Despite so, it’s still passable.
Tako Aspara ($6.80++) :: As is very apparent, the portion isn’t very favorable. The Tako is amazing, not sure about the Asparagus – I can’t bring myself to have it. Not too bad a dish in a nutshell.
Agedashi Tofu ($7.80++) :: One of the can’t-miss-out-ons whenever dining in a Japanese Restaurant. I thought the tofu didn’t manage to bring out a wholesome taste in it. Sakae Sushi’s version surpasses this in taste, in my opinion.
Aji ($24++) :: A very refreshing dish I thought! Not only of its taste, but also because it was brought back to the kitchen to receive a second treatment – deep fry (its bones). It’s like a 2-for-1 treat of the fish. The bones are crunchy, salty and light. Pretty awesome and worth trying!
Ama Ebi Hotate Kakiage ($12.80++) :: One of the dishes with familiar names in it that you see in fastfood restaurants like Mos Burger, and also any Japanese eateries with deep-fried items. We thought to go for some classics, and well, it didn’t disappoint, neither did it impress.
Lamb Yaki ($7.80++) :: Not very generous in terms of the portion, is it? Nevertheless, it was well-cooked, well marinated. Just that, lamb lovers like me wouldn’t be satisfied with just one small plate like this.
Service is definitely acceptable, or even better.
Very interestingly, they only recently brought in iPads as part of their menu supplement (they show the more popular dishes in the iPad menu). So while thinking of what to eat, you can play around with the scrolling and blown-up pictures of the food. Speaking of which, the menu is crazy, crazy, extensive. Over a hundred items in all, big, small, main, side, drinks. So yes, don’t go there when you’re already starving, because it’ll take you long to look through the packed menu.
Two things that didn’t make Tenza Izakaya excellent are mainly, firstly, its insufficient quantity of each dish, and secondly, that some, I guess it’s around 50/50, of its food are just about average and nothing special / spectacular. Maybe one of the problem is because they have too large a menu, too much to cope, who knows. Anyhows, it’s still a place worth trying, worth going.
Address: 106 Clement St 12, #01-38D, Sunset Way
Telephone: 6773 0093
Photos by Kathleen.