TEMPURA | 与太呂 本店 (Yotaro Honten)

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Said to be the old guard of Kansai-style tempura since the 20s and actually a two-starred establishment, expectation was understandably high walking in on this chilly and drizzling day. Trying my luck and read a few times of it not being too busy during lunch, LG had forgotten it’s lunar new year week and was very close to being turned away at the door until a lone spot at the counter mysteriously vacated, even one that is strategically located just in front of the fryer. As seen before at Ippoh, a rather shallow wok was being used and amazingly here at such close range, there was not even a scent of oil nor frying smell. Certainly a well controlled temperature as well as mixture of oil. From then on, however, it was all very standard fare. The counter filled with tourists apparently hasn’t been impressing the taisho too much and at times he was basically dumping nearly everything into the wok at the same time to cut down the execution time. The batter was the coating type and yet not really crunchy. Ingredients were more original than the Edomae style as expected yet couldn’t really find that ‘steamed inside’ texture unfortunately. Blame it on the influx of tourists, the M-guide, or just the management getting tired, those planning to pay pilgrimage should probably have their expectations tuned down a notch. Having said that, it was still a steal for their pricing and those going with 2 people or more should definitely try out their tai-meshi to make the experience complete. Note that the owner has allowed his pupils to go set up branches using the same name all around town and the country, and yet this is the only Honten that one can feel the history.

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