Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tempura Tsunahachi - Tokyo

It Takes More Than Hot Oil...
As a boy, when we went out to eat, I refused to eat anything but burgers, fries and milkshakes.  How things change - I didn't even wait for her to finish saying "prawn head" before I'd popped it in and crunched happily.  I think she was as surprised by my lack of hesitation as I was.  It was nice, in a way that suggested a master's steady hand.  At Tsunahachi, every member of the staff looked to be in their sixties, including our chef.  I'd venture that experience is a positive when you're dunking things in hot oil.
I thought I'd seen it all until the chef placed a deep-fried egg yolk before me.  I instinctively leaned forward, hugged the plate and growled.  I was seated with thieves, some known to steal food right out from under me.
Crunchy and runny at the same time - the best of both worlds.  Kind of like a mortar and small-arms attack on my arteries, but I didn't care.  Incredible taste - I can die now, I'm sure of it.  It's like an exclamation point - I've seen and eaten it all, haven't I?  (Actually, a week later I'd be eating duck tongues in Hong Kong, so I guess there's always something new...)
I was dipping and dunking everything in wasabi salt, another first.  I didn't know they made wasabi salt and it's gonna be hard to switch back to the normal stuff.  It wasn't overly spicey, jut enough to cause a bit of forehead sweat.
Dodo, being a spice-chicken, stuck with the white crystals.  So dull.  (By the way, she didn't try the duck tongues in Hong Kong, either.  So, that makes here duck-tongue-chicken, I guess.)
The pickled radish made a nice photo - I adjusted my lighting and focus on this as I waited.  It was ok, just didn't warm my heart as expected.
At Tsunahachi, they deep-fry it in front of you.  We sat at the counter and watched.  One by one, things appeared in front of me like these tasty tempura prawns.  I'd gotten a head start on these already (drumroll.)  Get it?  Ok, nevermind.
The maestro was in good form.  I'm guessing he was in his fifth decade of tempura making though I didn't dare ask and didn't know the Japanese to do so anyway.  I'm sure my gf will read this and be glad that's the case.
It's old-school tempura heaven, folks.  That ain't no exaggeration.  If you're in Tokyo and want some deep-fried goodies, you now know where to go.
It's not the easiest place to find, so follow the map link below.

3-31-8 Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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8 comments:

  1. haha...JC is really boring, always same place same food.

    But I do miss the tempura...so yummy

    pirate

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  2. @Pirate, she acted like she'd been there once a long time ago, had trouble finding, etc. Are you saying this is one of the DopeDope's usual spots?

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  3. I only been to this place once... and I don't recall it was with Pirate. Wahahahahaa.... I don't even remember who now. Memory loss....

    The veg tempura yummy... miss it already!

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  4. @Old Forgetful Puff - likely story....

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  5. She been there more than once. 'Cos when she brought us there, she told us she went there previously, and as usual she loves us so she wud bring us to where she has been before wahhahahaha...- this is from the most forgetful pirate!

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  6. @Anon - your friend finds great spots! I got deep fried prawn head and a deep fried egg yolk. How do you deep fry an egg yolk? I still cannot figure it out!

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  7. Is that really in Japan? The street looks so clean and the cobbles so unworn it could be Disney?

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  8. @Niko - well, I did have my assistants sweep up prior to the shot.....

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