Kogane Yama – New Tempura Specialty Restaurant in Bugis
Not to be confused with the body’s connective tissues, Tendon is an abbreviation arising from the two words Tempura and Donburi. Since their opening on 6th June 2017, Kogane Yama has been drawing a huge crowd with their variety of customizable Tendons! While Tendon isn’t a new invention per se, the concept of customizability is what draws people to this cozy Japanese eating house.
One would expect a larger than normal menu here but you’ll be surprised at how compressed and simple the menu is. You have 4 different bowls to choose from: Mixed bowl ($15.80), Chicken bowl ($13.80), Prawn bowl ($13.80) and Vegetable Bowl ($11.80). You also get to choose if you like to have rice, udon or soba, and how spicy you would like the sauce to be. I got the mixed bowl with rice, and a level 1 spicy sauce. You can opt for the non-spicy sauce if you can’t take spice or get the level 3 if you’re feeling adventurous. They also offer a small selection of drinks including sodas and beers if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the spice. For a value-for-money deal, top up $2 to get the set meal which includes a Chawanmushi and a bowl of Miso Soup or a cup of Green Tea! I got rather thirsty whilst munching through so many tempura items so I was grateful for the green tea on the side.
The Tendon comes served with a huge plethora of tempura items including 2 prawns, a chicken tender (like those from burger king), 2 sweet potato slices, 2 long beans, enoki mushroom and even a large round Shiitake Mushroom. The tempura items were all freshly made on the spot to ensure freshness hence the waiting time might be a little longer than expected. Every item was well coated with sufficient batter before they are fried. Albeit fried till crispy, the prawns weren’t as crunchy as I liked them to be. On the other hand, the chicken was pretty juicy and appealed to me more.
Surprisingly, I liked the Shiitake tempura the best because it was crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. Alas, there was only one in my bowl. The vegetable tempuras were really well done, all still retaining their flavor so you know what you’re biting into.
A noteworthy tempura item would be the large piece of seaweed tempura which somehow reminds me of the seaweed snack Tao Kae Noi.
Due to my lack of ability, I only got the level 1 sauce which was bearable for me but I thought it enhanced the overall flavor of the items. As expected, the rice was well cooked with discernable grains and the sauce helped to ensure that it wasn’t too dry. I liked that it was seasoned well with white and black sesame seeds to bring out the fragrance of the rice.
The Chawanmushi was well-flavoured, yet light, and made an amazing side to the heavy tempura items. I added the Chawanmushi bit by bit to the rice bowl which was a pleasantly tasty combination.
Granted, since Kogane Yama only serves tempura items, it may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the customizability concept of the store, maybe because its similar to how I’m used to ordering my food at a hawker centre. If you’re a fan of tendons, then this is one place you can’t afford to miss.
Address: Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, #02-50, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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