Prepare To Have Your Pre-conceptions About Tempura Blown Away!
A new restaurant has opened in Beverly Hills, California – and has turned the world of tempura upside down!
Welcome To Tempura Endo Beverly Hills!
Tempura Endo recently opened in Beverly Hills, and reviews have been stellar! And when you see what I had to eat there, I hope you will agree! A beautiful new restaurant exterior only hints at what is in store. Inside, there are only a handful of seats – 8 total – all clustered along the sushi counter…
This is a high-end gourmet Tempura adventure. You have three options to choose from – 9 items, 11 items or the big 13 item menu. As they say on their website:
“Our Kyoto-style tempura feature the freshest seafood such as sea urchin wrapped with laver and prawn, and a variety of Kyoto vegetables.
The dinner course includes a seasonal appetizer, the choicest sashimi,
hashiyasume (palate-refreshment side dish), a special original salad, and a rice-dish.”
They hand you the menu that you choose before you arrive, and the menu has your name on it…with a full description of the menu inside.
We chose the “all-in” $280 option…but before you dig into your meal, you must put on your Tempura bib!
Alex put the bib on – my son Jeff went commando! Once bibbed, a plate is set before you with five different salts – you are given instructions when to use each one, including a rice salt, truffle salt, matcha salt and one with a yuzu flavor.
Here is our tasting menu at Tempera Endo, as laid out on our individual menu:
Cold Tempura Appetizer: Kyoto-Eggplant, minced shrimp and ginger dash glee
This is a light, refreshing way to begin – and then you are dropped right into the deep end of magic!
Amuse Tempura: Corn
So, to understand this dish, you have to know that it’s a deconstructed corn on the cob tempura, without the cob!
The corn was slightly crunchy, but full of creamy corn flavor – then, look at the restaurant’s logo on the next dish!
“Branded Shrimp Bread!”
yes, we were next served Shrimp bread – a crispy bite of toasty bread layered with whole shrimp! More fish follows:
Sashimi: three kinds of today’s fish and wagyu
Yes, next up were thick slices of fresh fish: yellowtail, abalone, fatty tuna – served in big fat chunks!
Bring On The Golden Wagyu!
The last beautiful slice on the plate is actually raw Wagyu beef – speckled with gold leaf!
The flavors on display so far have been phenomenal – a unique mix of dishes, and each time we are instructed by a Chef as to which salt or sauce to use – or none at all!
Time For An Incredible Tempura Display!
What you see if tempura shrimp – but this huge Scampi was living just moments before, and with a touch of salt, the delicate crust and incredible flavor just pops – and then you eat the fried head next!
Endo’s Tempura -style1-
That is how it is listed on the menu, and after Live Scampi comes King Crab – a big meaty chunk that is full of flavor – and all of this is amazingly fresh!
Now comes Sea Urchin wrapped in seaweed – probably the most luxurious taste of Urchin I have ever had!
Next, our Chef told us they created this dish just for the Beverly Hills restaurant, since Americans like something unique – and so it is:
A Truffle Stuffed Scallop With Caviar!
Yes, a huge meaty scallop is split in half and then a slice of black truffle is slid in!
Silage and Pea Croquette were next, and each was light, delicate and full of flavor….
Then Comes The Rare Abalone!
One of the more dangerous shellfish to harvest, a couple of wedges of Abalone are served: crunchy and refreshing…
Then, time for a “Refreshment Tempura: Flambee’d Sweet Potato with Zuzu Granite”
What makes this so much fun is the presentation – take a look:
By the way, the tempura batter is flour that is low in gluten – called “weak” flour on the menu – and only hard water is used, except when Chardonnay is added if frying seafood — and the oil is a blend of cotton seed, taebek sesame and safflower oil.
More of this delicate Tempura follows, including this unique Sesame tofu that comes in a paper cone that you mash up like a punching bag – a punching bag also filled with sliced black truffle:
Then, time for some “Wagyu Tempura” – that light batter surrounding a delicious chunk of prime Wagyu beef:
Finally, you are served a Tempura Bowl that is topped by a tempura’d egg, which you poke and unleash hot egg yolk into a bowl of miso soup:
After a refreshing dessert, you are treated to one last incredible show:
Matcha by Tea – Ceremony Style!
The specialty of the house is the special “tea” ceremony…it is actually made for you in an elaborate process they encourage you to film! Here it is:
This intense green tea is creamy, like hot chocolate, and as intensely flavored as any green tea I have ever had…a hot and satisfying end to an incredible meal!
Bravo to Tempura Endo – a memorable feast full of surprises and classic touches…and if you want to enjoy the world’s greatest food, then you must try this as well:
This incredible squid and chickpea dish was served to us in Barcelona…read about the world’s best food by clicking on my story here:
Let me know what you think of this amazing tempura!