Paid them two visits after sitting out the potential teething period before getting down to write this and it is probably the right decision. Much expected to be a modern version of its classic roots and well bombarded by all these talks of ‘tendon is not tempura’, it was indeed a tall order to fill for Tanihara-san first venture outside of Japan. Said to be the 5th generation of the legendary ‘Dote no Iseya’, his own shop called Akimitsu had in fact already made its mark in Asakusa, itself a tendon battlefield among all the old classics. Bringing the so called ‘Shitamachi’ taste into town, which so far had only been graced by the mediocre tendon chains, however, is a totally different challenge.
My first visit, on that note, was slightly on the disappointing side. Going for the luxurious ‘5th generation special’, with perfect hindsight, was probably a mistake, as it was certainly trying too hard to please yet all the goodies are somehow ‘lumped’ together without much balancing and even slightly on the soggy side with some of its softer ingredients. Learning from that, the second visit was indeed meant to be a redeem trip and it did start off well with the stand alone piece of ‘Kisu’, tendon style no doubt yet crunchy and tasty. The newly introduced sized down ‘Kaeda’ tendon is certainly a move towards the right direction as the sogginess are all gone yet the sauce is tastier than ever, even with the legendary hint of sesame oil, classic from the good old Dote, finally coming with it.
The Suntory premium drafts on offer are certainly one of the most fairly priced in town, thanks probably to the En group’s backing, and the ‘Mega Highball’ was even seen for the first time in town.
We finally have a classic Tendon place to speak of!
(Note: The shop is now closed – November 2017)