After rolling into Kyoto Station, we shopped around a bit at Isetan department store and then headed up to their restaurant floor for lunch. We decided to hit Ten-ichi, a chain that specializes in tempura. Their main store is in Ginza, but they have restaurants across the country. We sat at the bar in nice low chairs and the food was cooked in courses right in front of us. Lovely! Each piece was plucked from the oil and dropped piping hot onto to a plate in front of us – and nothing is more comforting than fresh tempura. Of course, the star of the course is always the shrimp tempura, and the ingredients were so fresh the poor shrimpies were wiggling around just seconds before they were battered and fried. I might have felt a twinge of guilt.

The rest:

Lovely table setting! The course came with a salad with a refreshing dressing. The lemon is for the tempura. The bowl on the right is for the dipping sauce, and the little dish in the middle is for throwing away parts you don’t eat (like the shrimp tail).

Ground daikon radish, for the dipping sauce.

photo by my brother

Salt, for seasoning. I liked both the dipping broth and the salt. The salt version gives you a more pure flavor, I think.

Rice and pickles. Not pictured is the miso soup with mini clams that also came with the meal. The rice and soup set can come during the meal if you request it, but they generally serve it at the end.

photo by my brother

Chef at work!

Bamboo shoots! There were two pieces, but I ate one before I snapped the picture.

Little onions, very hot on the inside.

Some kind of green veggie. Not entirely sure what it was, but it was tasty. It wasn’t broccoli, I know that much.

Sugar snap pea.

Some kind of white fish, delicious. This was my second favorite, after the shrimp.

This is a lump of mixed veggies with ground shrimp. It came at the end of the course, when I was really full…the biggest piece!

I feel like I’m missing something…I could’ve sworn there was lotus root as well. I might have forgotten to take a picture of it in my haste to eat EVERYTHING. This was definitely an epic meal, and kept me full all day. I think we even skipped dinner that night.

Mmm…ingredients on display. It’s so nice to see it all laid out. Gives you something to look forward to. I definitely want to try the Ginza main shop next time I’m in Japan!

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