Exterior | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Tenmasa: Tempura Fine Dining Restaurant

For many people around the world tempura is one of the most well-known of the Japanese cuisines, but what many do not realise is that most restaurants in Japan specialises in specific cuisine, be it a ramen shop, sushi bar or takoytaki stand, and this is the same for tempura. Within Platinum Park in Kuala Lumpur sits exactly this type of specialisation, with a fine dining touch, Tenmasa, Kuala Lumpur’s first fine dining tempura restaurant, from shirako to foie gras to uni tempura.

Chef Masa Iwaasa | Tenmasa Iwaata | Food For Thought

Tenamasa is headed by Japanese chef Masanori Iwaasa, and what a restaurant like Tenmasa does is to elevate the tempura dining experience for the local scene. The 10 seater bar imports seafood ingredients flown in from Japan three times a week, and uses local ingredients when appropriate. Interestingly, the tempura here is served in the two traditional school of thought, either with a tentsuyu (天汁), a tempura sauce, or salt, which was served three ways here, sea salt, matcha salt and truffle salt.

Sakizuke | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Tenmasa Tempura Kaiseki Menu 天まさの天ぷら懐石メニュー

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, kaiseki (懐石) is given the highest respect, with it being seen as an art form more than anything. It has a long history and predates haute cuisine in Europe, predating it by quite a bit. In kaiseki, dishes are served by courses, starting with the sakizuke (先附), usually consisting of crab or sea urchin. Although not a true kaiseki which involves many types of courses which include mukozuke (向付), the sashimi course or Yakimono (焼物), the grilled course, this kaiseki focuses mainly on one course, Agemono (揚げ物), the tempura course. The kaiseki is divided into 5 main courses, the appetisers, first tempura course, palate cleanser, second tempura course, beef signatures course, rice course and dessert. The menu is as follows: –

Premium Appetiser Ebi Nori Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Botanebi Nori Tempura ぼたんえびのり天ぷら

Botan Shrimp and Seaweed Tempura
Part one of three of the Premium Appetisers, the sakizuke, this dish is made from fresh botanebi, a sweet prawn, served on top of a tempura fried nori, meant to eat in one bite. Very good dish to start the meal.

Premium Appetiser Set | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Kegani ケガニ

Horsehair Crab
Part two of three of the Premium Appetisers was a fresh horse hair crab meat with a great texture and flavour. Sweet and stringy, the dish help set the tone with the other 2 appetisers.

Premium Appetiser Uni Chawanmushi | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Uni Chawanmushi うに茶碗蒸し

Sea Urchin and Steamed Egg Custard
Part three of the Premium Appetisers was a uni chawanmushi, which has the greatest of umami matched with the delicate steamed egg custard, one of the best and delicate ways to showcase the uni.

Kuruma Ebi Tempura 車海老天ぷら

Kuruma Shrimp Tempura
Part one of the first tempura course, is the head of the shrimps. Arguably the best part of the shrimp with the most crunch and flavour from the hepatopancreas, a fancy name for the flavourful bits.

Scallop Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Hotate Tempura ホタテ天ぷら

Scallop Tempura
Part two of the first tempura course was the scallop. The texture was great with the briny sweetness of the hotate, although the tempura does tend to be a bit soggy with such a juicy scallop.

Bamboo Shoot Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Takenoko Tempura 筍天ぷら

Bamboo Shoot Tempura
Part three of the first tempura course was a bamboo shoot. The pungent flavour was fresh and woody, and quite unique for a tempura.

Uni Shiso Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Uni Shiso Tempura うにシソ天ぷら

Sea Urchin and Shiso Leaf Tempura
Part four of the first course was the uni shiso tempura. This was essentially one of the best seafood courses, with its sweet briny umami contrasted with the spiciness of the shiso. Definitely would order again.

Salad | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Salada サラダ

A simple mizuna salad with a gomadare sauce to clean the palate before the next courses.

Kuruma Ebi Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Kuruma Ebi Tempura 海老天ぷら

Prawn Tempura
Part one of the second tempura course, the kuruma ebi tempura is served again to start the course.

Sea Bream Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Amadai Tempura 甘鯛天ぷら

Sea Bream Tempura
Part two of the second tempura course was the amadai, also known as the sea bream. The fish was less of a tempura as it did not have a heavy batter. What was great were the crispy scales that puffed up from the deep-frying, adding to the piping hot flesh, adding a crips sweetness to the dish.

Oyster Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Kaki Tempura 牡蠣天ぷら

Oyster Tempura
Part three of the second tempura course was the oyster, which was thick and juicy. The high-quality oyster did not have an overtly metallic taste to it. Defintiely one of the best of the seafood courses.

Maitake Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Maitake Tempura 舞茸天ぷら

Hen-of-the-woods Mushroom Tempura
Part four of the second tempura course was the maitake, a prized mushroom in Japanese cuisine. It has a very distinctive flavour and when fried well is quite a delight.

Shirako Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Shirako Tempura 白子天ぷら

Milt Tempura
As part of the bonus course, the shirako, also known as cod sperm or milt, is a creamy delicacy. The ones served here comes with a dollop of caviar, taking the dish to the next level. Try if you’re into strong flavours. Very rich.

A3 Wagyu Comte Cheese Tempura | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

A3 Wagyū to Kontechīzu A3 和牛とコンテチーズ

A3 Wagyu Beef with Comte Cheese
The kaiseki does not include these items, but are signature add ons. The comte cheese wagyu was decent, especially for cheese fans. The comte is a strong cheese, and could easily overpower the beef, but it didn’t.

A3 Wagyu Sukiyaki | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

A 3 Wagyū Sukiyaki to Yūki Tamago A3 和牛すき焼きと有機卵黄

A3 Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki with Organic Yolk
The second signature was the wagyu sukiyaki. This was one of the more interesting ways of experiencing sukiyaki, in the form of a tempura. Very interesting dish, especially once dipped in the egg yolk. This dish is recommended if you were looking to add some meat to your tempura experience.

Kakiage | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Kakiage Gohan to Amai Tare  かき揚げご飯と甘いタレ

Kakiage Rice Bowl with Sweet Sauce
The rice course was a kakiage, made form a mixture of prawns and scallops, served on a bed of rice with a fried egg drizzled with a sweet sauce. A nice ending to the savoury courses, there is also an option to have this without any sauce or ochazuke (お茶漬け), served almost like congee with green tea.

Yuzu Monaka | Tenmasa | Food For Thought

Yuzu Monaka to Yubari Meron ゆず最中とゆず最中と夕張メロン

Yuzu Monaka and Yubari Melon
The monaka was served with a frozen yuzu sorbet, both fragrant and sweet, while the yubari melon was in season. A perfect ending to a long meal. 

Platinum Park
Persiaran KLCC,
50088 Kuala Lumpur
+6013 555 9115 (Whatsapp)
Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday, 11.30 am to 3.00 pm; 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm
Closed Sundays


Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.

One Comment

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