IF you have guests hankering for scrumptious Japanese, go east.
Japan’s top tempura tendon chain Tenya reaches the eastern part of the Metro with the launch of its ninth Philippine branch at Tiendesitas in Pasig City.
With branches located mostly in the central and southern parts of Metro Manila, the Tiendesitas presence is the brand’s largest in the country to date, which can accommodate around 80 guests within two floors, with the second floor available for private functions for up to 40 people.
“Tenya is the No. 1 tempura tendon restaurant in Japan,” said Tenya Philippines General Manager Edmundo Ramos during the recent launch of the Tiendesitas branch. “We think the brand can also be the No. 1 tempura tendon restaurant here in the Philippines.”
Known for its battered seafood, meat or vegetables that are deep-fried to infrared-heat precision and quality, Tenya entered the Philippine market in 2015 through the Rack’s group, Cavallino Inc. Tenya is regarded as the most successful Japanese tempura tendon chain with more than 200 stores across several Asian countries, mainly in Japan in the metropolitan Tokyo area.
The brand started in 1989 at the Yaesu underground mall in Tokyo Station as the answer of Founder Yoshio Iwashita to the lack of affordable tendon, or a bowl of rice topped with tempura. He offered the popular dish at one-third of its average price at that time, and Tenya has enjoyed great popularity since.
The quality and consistency of the dishes, of course, deserve credit, as well. For one, Tenya’s signature tempura on its tendon is fried with 100 percent heart-healthy canola oil on a brand-exclusive conveyor belt-type fryer, powered by infrared-heat technology that ensures product consistency. The result every time is a golden crisp, with a batter from specially formulated flour kept light and crispy—complementing, and not masking, a prawn that is thick and chewy.
The tempura tendon goes with a bed of steaming Japanese rice, drizzled with the brand’s signature dontare sauce, or a special blend of sweet and umami flavors that goes perfectly with the tempura.
Tenya’s other popular dishes are the All-Star Tendon (P325) and Teishoku set (P395), which has a mound of seafood tempuras, including black tiger prawn, squid, salmon, kani, green beans, and shimeji mushroom topping on a bed of rice and also drizzled in Tenya’s original dontare sauce. There is also the TempuRamen (P345), a dish born out of customer demand, which is tonkotsu ramen broth topped with ground pork and paired with black tiger prawn, green beans and eggplant tempura.
According to Denise Ramos, director for operations of Cavallino Inc., the group goes through audits under their Japanese partners every two months to ensure overall operations are up with global standards, from food quality to store cleanliness. This, she said, allows Tenya Philippines to provide customers top-level quality and service.
“There are so many horror stories where a Japanese brand comes in, all guns blazing, the Japanese chef is at the back, then he’s out after about a month. After that, quality takes a hit,” added Chukri Prieto, Cavallino Inc. managing director. “I think our main driving force is providing the best quality day in and day out at an affordable price.”
As for Tenya’s next location, the group said they’re looking at Quezon City, Makati City and the Manila area. Tenya is present in Market! Market!, BGC Stopover, SM Megamall, SM Southmall, SM Mall of Asia, Aseana City, Festival Supermall, Paseo de Magallanes and Tiendesitas.
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