Although it wasn’t the first choice, we didn’t regret having tempura in Osaka Station after all the other restaurants we wanted to try were all full.
Ashiya (芦屋市, Ashiya-shi) is a city in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, between the cities of Nishinomiya and Kobe. The original tempura restaurant was founded 41 years ago (1978) in that tiny city of 90 thousand inhabitants. Now you can enjoy the same high quality tempura in this branch on the 10th floor of the Lucua, just next to JR Osaka Station.
旬の献立 Seasonal Menu
- 付きだし漬物3種盛り 3 kinds of tsukemono pickles
- すてぃっく野菜3品飾り 3 stalk vegetables
- 天麩羅 tempura
- 天然海老 4尾 4 natural shrimps
- 旬魚・旬菜 ５品 5 seasonal fish and vegetables
- 掻揚げ 1品 1 special kakiage
- 飯、汁 rice and soup
3 kinds of tsukemono pickles, 3 kinds of stalky vegetables
The first two courses weren’t courses but appetisers and pickles to accompany the rice.
The 3 tsukemono (漬物, Japanese pickles) were hidden underneath the dried wakame.
The 3 stalky vegetables were simmered spinach with mushroom, shredded radish cooked with konnya noodles (similar to our tunghoon) and a dried wakame.
This specialty store is all about tempura. We watched our order being fried right in front of us at the counter seats. The course came with 9 pieces of tempura and a kakiage in total – 10 beautifully fried food using sunflower seed oil instead of the traditional sesame oil.
天然海老 4尾 4 natural shrimps
These were normal sized shrimps, not the Tiger prawns. The prawns are done in two styles – nude and wrapped in shiso. Two were served straight up at the beginning, and then two more served towards the end of the course.
The shiso provided a nice minty taste to the unembellished prawn.
But if you don’t like that herby taste, you can enjoy it naked without any embellishment. Enjoy it with either the simple salt or seaweed salt.
Next up, 5 pieces of seasonal specials.
旬魚・旬菜 ５品 5 seasonal fish and vegetables
1/ 小蕪 turnip
Next up, a piece of turnip that refreshed the palate and gave a good crunch.
2/ 白子 shirako/cod milt
3/ 本しめじ 、 4/ 河豚 shimeiji mushrooms, fugu/blowfish
5/ 紫芋 purple sweet potato
It’s like our goreng pisang sweet potato, but with a thin batter and high quality purple sweet potato mash. Sweet potato is usually not purple, the colour comes from the skin. So when boiled, the pigment seeps into the potato for an appealing purple finish.
掻揚げ 1品 kakiage
Kakiage is a popular kind of tempura in Japan, especially in the home because different ingredients (usually leftovers) are mixed together in tempura batter before deep-frying. The kakiage was made with bits of sweet potato, carrots, onions and shishito (sweet jalapeño), quite yummy to finish the rice with.
tsukemono, rice & soup
Ala Carte Items
On top of the regular course, we complimented the meal with several ala carte items that you would not usually find in Singapore’s tempuraya.
I thought it would be uni between shisho leaves like what they did in Tempura Mikawa, a Michelin 1-star tempuraya. Not, it was just a tempura shiitake mushroom cap with fresh uni placed on top. Still very nice, but not what I expected.
蓮根 、 たまご lotus roots, egg
Again, the lotus roots were different from Mikawa.
ししゃも shishamo/pregnant fish
穴子 conger eel
The last item was the banana tempura, which tasted like a very light goreng pisang. In Singapore, we used a hardy variety of banana that can withstand deep frying and get caramelised in the process. Here, it’s the small and sweet banana that was fried just that quickly. Nice little fried dessert since there wasn’t any that came with the set.
While the staff spoke almost no English (some do speak Mandarin), the menu is available in English and Chinese. The set costed ¥2,500, which is reasonable for Japan and the quality of the ingredient used. Recommended if you are staying around the Osaka JR station.
Ashiya Tengayu 芦屋 天がゆ ルクア大阪店
〒530-0001 大阪府大阪市北区梅田3-1-3 ルクアイーレ10F
Tel : 050-3462-0018
Date Visited : Nov 2019