We have been blessed by a deluge of authentic Japanese chain openings over the past 2 years, owing to everyone’s wanderlust pangs and longing for the scrumptious delicacies in Japan. If you enjoy crispy, hearty tempura then you have to check out the newest chain to hit Singapore, Tempura Makino at Suntec City.
This established chain from Japan has just opened its first outlet outside of Japan, brought in by the same people behind popular casual Japanese diners such as Tamago-En. Their speciality is in freshly-fried tempura with some pieces priced as low as S$1.50.
For just S$1.50 you can get their unique Tempura Egg which features a beautiful golden yolk encased in a light airy batter — it’s a wonderful mixture of textures when the silky egg bursts in your mouth.
Plus, in celebration of their Singapore opening, Tempura Makino at Suntec City will give out free eggs to any diner from 22 Sep 2021 to 24 Sep 2021, limited to 1 per person.
So what’s special about them? That would be their speciality of Tsudoage-style tempura, where they serve the tempura pieces one at a time, frying them to order to ensure the best airy bite for each handcrafted piece.
So you’d find a lot of ala carte items on their menu, affordably priced from S$1.50 to S$6.80 with the premium Uni (S$8.80) and Steak (S$10.80) being the only exceptions. You can also find affordable lunch sets starting from just S$16 here!
And if you’re a fan of free-flow goodies at restaurants, Tempura Makino also serves free-flow homemade yuzu daikon. The refreshing meal accompaniment helps cut through some of the heavier flavours of pieces such as the Mentai Seaweed (S$6.80).
My favourite piece here at Tempura Makino has to be their Oyster Tempura (S$3.80) — a plump, creamy specimen of oyster perfectly paired with the gentle crunch of the batter and the umami of the dipping sauce.
Even if you aren’t a fan of oysters, you’d probably be able to enjoy this since the sauce and batter obscured any traces of unpleasant fishy stink.
Of course, it’s not really a tempura meal without the classic Prawn and Vegetable Tempura ensemble, which is available during lunch as a set for S$18 or you can get it as a platter during dinner for S$16.
Compared to some of the other best tempura joints in Singapore, Tempura Makino uses a different kind of batter which is much lighter and airier. While a bit lighter in its crunch factor, it’s also way less greasy which is great for the delicate flavours of the vegetables and the prawn to shine through.
Besides the wide array of tempura items, what I enjoyed the most was actually their carbs items. We know, we know, many of you think of carbs as your enemy. But hear us out — the Inaniwa Udon (S$7.80) sported the perfect bouncy bite that just sorta recoiled like a spring, it was sublime.
And the Soba (S$6.80) was perfectly al dente — delicate with a nice crunchy bite and is so well complemented by the flavourful dipping sauce. Tempura Makino might have surprisingly served up some of the best Japanese noods we’ve had in a while.
If you’re the kind that needs a dessert or you’d die, then some of the tempura-based desserts at Tempura Makino might pique your interest. It’s not every day you see sweet desserts coated and fried in tempura batter.
While it wasn’t for us we can see the Matcha Mochi Tempura (S$4.80) appealing to adventurous matcha lovers. It was nicely chewy and had a fragrant dose of matcha, while the lighter tempura batter didn’t overpower it with grease.
Although the mix of textures did throw us off a bit, we definitely give them an A+ for creativity though!
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