Tokyo is trying way too hard to make me fall in love with it. But you know what? It’s kinda succeeding.
Its latest attempt to make me never want to leave: a little restaurant called Tempura Imoya. I think you can take a wild guess at what they specialize in.
Like pretty much every place I’ve been to so far, there was a line to get in. Hot tip: if you’re coming to Tokyo, bring a good book, because you’re going to be standing in a lot of lines (at least if you want to eat well — and trust me, if you’re in Tokyo, you want to eat well).
I don’t think they even have a menu here, or at least if they did I didn’t see one. They have a set tempura lunch which comes with a cup of green tea, rice, a bowl of miso soup, a plate of tempura, and a sauce to dip it in. All that for just over seven bucks Canadian.
The tempura consisted of a piece of whitefish, squid, shrimp, squash, and some kind of leafy vegetable — arugula, maybe?
It was amazing. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the amazingly crispy batter was almost improbably light. It’s so light it practically just dissolves in your mouth (that sounds weird, but trust me, it was so good). It was easily the best tempura I’ve ever had.
And that sauce — oh man, that sauce. It wasn’t like any tempura sauce I’ve had back home; it was subtly sweet and crammed with ginger, and yet somehow it didn’t have that harsh gingery bite. It was so good I could have eaten it on its own (and in fact there was a bit of sauce left after the tempura was finished, so I just poured the remainder on what was left of the rice).
Seriously though: Tokyo? I’m going to need you to stop being so amazing. I need to leave eventually, and you’re making that way too difficult.