Specialising in Japanese Yakiniku and wagyu beef, the Tenkaichi Japanese Restaurant prides itself in serving high quality food that is value for money. And the head chef and owner of the eatery, Naing Ye Guang, together with the restaurant’s executive chef, have more than 20 years of experience in Japanese cooking, which includes heading the kitchen of Yakiniku Daidomon for about 10 years and fine-tuning their craft at some of Japan’s finest yakiniku restaurants, such as Jojoen Yugentei.
The eatery offers two types of buffets – the Deluxe ($39.80 on weekdays, $44.80 on weekends) and the Premium ($64.80 on weekdays, $69.80 on weekends). While beef items are available in both buffets, the high-grade wagyu beef is only available in the restaurant’s Premium buffet.
Diners have fun barbecuing the food themselves at their own table.
I was invited to a food tasting session at this restaurant recently. Here are the highlights.
We had four different cuts of beef – these were the Wagyu Rosu (Wagyu Beef Rib Eye Cap), Wagyu Karubi (Wagyu Beef Short Rib), Karubi (Boneless Short Rib) and Honetsuki Karubi (Bone-in Short Rib).
The wagyu beef served at this restaurant all have a marbling grade of 7, which means that they are of a relatively high quality. Said Chef Naing, “It’s not easy to find this quality and variety of Wagyu beef in Singapore at this buffet price.”
Overall, I thought that the wagyu beef was definitely delicious. For instance, the Wagyu Rosu has a melt-in-your-mouth texture after cooking, which is quite pleasant. The Wagyu Rosu beef pieces do take some time to barbecue though, as each slice is quite thick. I’ll admit that I preferred the Karubi beef (because it was more thinly cut – so it was easier to barbecue) but the taste of all the beef were nice, though.
This ox tongue was a very interesting item. When it arrived, the first thing that caught my eye was the large size – each oval-shaped piece probably measured about eight centimetres in length. This means that each ox must have had a huge tongue!
The texture was very gentle and smooth and biting into it was relatively easy. As for the flavour, it was surprisingly pleasant and I thought that it seemed to have been somewhat like a combination of beef and pork. It was served with sesame sauce and the combination of flavours fitted together quite well. In fact, I’ll admit that I enjoyed this item more than I thought I would have.
Pork & Chicken
We had three different cuts of pork. These were pork belly, pork collar and pork cheek. These were served in a miso based sauce, except the pork cheek, which was prepared with sesame sauce.
Out of these, I enjoyed the pork belly the most, because the meat was the softest and juiciest out of the lot. At the same time, the sauce also went very well together with the flavour of the pork and enhanced the natural taste of the meat.
However, both the pork collar and the pork cheek, surprisingly was a little firm and slightly chewy – in fact, I must admit that I had needed more effort to bite these, but otherwise they were delicious.
For the chicken, this was quite moist and I enjoyed it. I thought that the sauce went very well together with the meat, which was quite tender and fresh at the same time.
We had seven different types of seafood. These were prawns, white tuna, salmon, giant scallops, mackerel, Capelin fish and squids. This was served together with miso sauce.
My first thought was that the seafood was extremely fresh and I really enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the scallops. I was later told that these scallops were a relatively new item, and was launched on the menu about a month ago.
The salmon meat was also pretty moist and tender, the prawns were fragrant and had a slightly crunchy note to it.
We had two types of tempura – prawns and breaded oysters.
These two seafood items were fresh and well cooked, and the flavours were definitely present. However, it would be great if the batter was a little more crunchy.
We had four types of sashimi – salmon, white tuna, blue tuna and mackerel. This was colourful and beautifully plated and I could really taste the “crunch” and freshness of the meat.
Free Flow Items
Besides the a-la-carte barbecue items, there was also a free flow buffet, which served a wide variety of cooked items such as assorted sushi, teriyaki fish, breaded scallops, green tea soba, chawanmushi, fried rice and noodles, as well as plain Japanese-style rice.
I tried a few of these items, and I enjoyed them. The chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) was tasty and delicious. I also liked the crunchy breaded scallops and the moist teriyaki fish. The seafood had been cooked to perfection.
According to Chef Niang, he checks the buffet table regularly to ensure that all items are still available and that they are hot and fresh. Indeed, when I tried the buffet items, they were piping hot and yummy – so they had definitely met my expectations.
In addition, free-flow of drinks are also available here, and these ranged from hot tea to soft drinks and fruit drinks. So there is something to cater to everyone. I tried the mango/peach soja fruit drink and the sweetness provided a good contrast to the savoury taste of my meal.
At the same time, there was a dessert counter here too, which had chilled fresh fruits and several flavours of Imayu brand ice cream. The chef said that that the Hokkaido-style ice cream had originated from Japan.
For this ice cream, I was told that the most popular flavours are green tea, sesame and chocolate chip. I would have liked to sample the green tea one, but it was not available. So I tried their chocolate and mint chip flavours. I must say that the flavour was very distinctive. For instance, I could taste a strong minty sensation coming from the mint chip ice cream, and that was really enjoyable. The chocolate chips also created a nice crunchy texture.
Current Restaurant Promotions
Normally, the buffet items are an additional $5 (inclusive of food items, free-flow drinks and ice cream) but during the festive month of December, the restaurant will be throwing this in free of charge.
As an additional promotion this month, Facebook fans liking and sharing Tenakaichi Japanese Restaurant’s page, will also be entitled to 10% off their total bill.
Tenkaichi Japanese Restaurant
371 Beach Road,
City Gate (Keypoint) #01-18/19
(About 2 minutes walk from Nicoll Highway MRT Station)
Tel: +65 6293 4498
Monday to Sunday
Lunch: 11:30am to 2:30pm (Last order 2:00pm)
Dinner: 6:00pm to 10:30pm(Last order 10:00pm)