Friday, September 10, 2010

The Best Way to Eat Tempura

I finally met my friend Kubota-san in person tonight. He's a colleague of my husband's, and he's been one of my best supporters on Facebook. To meet him in Tokyo for dinner was a great treat for both Marc and me.

He took us to Tsunahachi, a tempura restaurant in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Having a counter seat was the best way to see the tempura being prepared, and having Kubota-san as our guide was the best way to enjoy tempura as the Japanese intended. Upon Kubota-san's recommendation, we ordered a la carte rather than choosing a set menu.

Tempura chef at Tsunahachi
We started with shrimp, squid, and scallops, which Kubota-san says is a basic selection and a good way to begin the meal. Afterward, we had vegetables, rice with kakiage (tempura mixture of different ingredients), miso soup, and tsukemono (Japanese pickles). Along the way, Kubota-san gave us tips on the Japanese way to have tempura: with salt, with grated daikon added to tempura sauce, and how eating mozuku (seaweed in vinegar) cleanses the palate between different kinds of tempura.

It was a wonderful meal that Marc and I probably wouldn't have had on our own. We thank Kubota-san for introducing us to the beauty of tempura!

With Kubota-san in front of Tsunahachi

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