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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant

Name: Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu Contact: 41 Elm St., 416-519-6794, akimitsutendon.com, @akimitsu_canada
Neighbourhood: Downtown Core Owners: Akimitsu Tanihara (Tokyo’s Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu) and Toronto-based investors Chef: Akimitsu Tanihara Accessibility: Six steps at entrance

The food

Traditional tempura sets or donburi (rice bowls) topped with fried-to-order seasonal tempura and served with a proprietary bonito- and soy-based dipping sauce, as well as tendon (sauce, not connective tissue) to pour over rice. The traditional tendon Tanihara makes at the 128-year-old restaurant in Asakasu, Japan has received the “King of Tempura Bowl” gold award—the highest recognition for tempura cuisine—five years in a row. Note: All tempura—vegetables, meat and seafood—are fried in the same oil.

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
A slightly lighter meal, the Tempura Set is served with grated daikon, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), rice and miso soup. This is the Ebi option, which comes with five prawns and one piece of vegetable tempura. $18.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
The Vegetable Tendon is topped with seasonal vegetables tempura over steamed short grain rice, and comes with miso soup. On our visit, the veggies included eggplant, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, lotus root, kabocha squash, and okra. $12.50.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
The Asakusa Tempura set includes a prawn, four types of seafood and three vegetables, and is served with grated daikon, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), rice, miso soup. On our visit, the seafood options included sea bass, salmon, squid kakiage (chopped squid and tempura batter fritter) and herring with roe still attached. $18.50.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
The Beef Potato Korokke features two breadcrumb-coated and fried patties of mashed potatoes and ground beef. The croquettes are served with a Japanese barbecue sauce. $7.50.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
A popular supplement is the Onsen Tamago, a soft-boiled egg served in tempura sauce with shredded nori and wasabi. $1.50.

 

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What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
Here’s a whole spread of tasty tempura.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
Batter up!

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
And then get frying.

 

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
At rest.

 

The drinks

Right now, just soda, tea and water. Coming soon: Japanese beers, including Asahi and Hitachino Nest.

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The space

The 40-seat, no-reservations restaurant has four bar stools flanking the kitchen for those interested a little culinary theatre.

What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant
What's on the menu at Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu, the first North American branch of Tokyo’s award-winning restaurant

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