Friday, August 13, 2004

Rakutei Tempura, Akasaka, Japan


rakutei, akasaka
Originally uploaded by joncheng.

This is the perennial favorite in Tokyo. The best tempura yet, and I've been looking for years.

Service: The room seats an even dozen customers who enjoy a quiet meal of enjoyment and reflection. The location is typical hole-in-the-wall-hush-hush-Japanese style in the Akasaka area. The chef owner speaks a decent level of English which he uses, sparingly, to make sure the meal proceeds smoothly. Otherwise the decor is minimalist and I would say in its mid-teens. Very clean and well kept.

Food: This is where it gets outstanding. There are two tempura fixed price menus and one sashimi fixed price dish. The seafood is absolutely fresh. Grey prawns are shelled and cleaned just prior to dipping in the batter and directly jumping into the freshly prepared oil. The batter is mixed uniquely and just in time for every course...you can expect a different tempura coating for each course that varies in how well done it is, how crispy it is, and how thick it is. The seasoning is either an excellent dipping sauce with all you can eat mashed daikon, or a delicate seasalt and lemon juice sauce.

Price: Either Yen12000 or Yen10000 for the tempura meals.

Overall: 3 burps (out of 3). I would want to go there on every Tokyo visit!

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