How many tempura places can you name that have been in business for more than 100 years? Tempura Endo Yasaka has been deep-frying food with flair for the last century – with tempura this good, it’s no wonder they’re still around.
Tempura Endo Yasaka – image © Chris Rowthorn
Tempura is battered and deep-fried food, but it can be elevated to great heights in the hands of the right chef. Done well, the batter is incredibly delicate, light and crispy, rather than being stodgy. Located in a wooden teahouse just south of Gion, Tempura Endo Yasaka is a popular choice for both locals and visitors to Kyoto when nothing but a parade of exquisitely cooked pieces of tempura will do.
A real standout here is their sweetcorn tempura, served at the opening of each multi-course tempura meal. It’s best enjoyed at the height of summer, when the hot oil makes each kernel taste like sweetness and sunshine magnified. Other items vary with the season. You can expect ingredients like fish from Lake Biwa, prawns, Kyoto heirloom aubergine (kamonasu), or a shiitake mushroom encased in minced prawn.
One factor separating higher-end tempura restaurants from more casual places is the variety of condiments used. At Tempura Endo Yasaka, you’ll have a small bowl of tentsuyu (tempura dipping sauce), green tea salt, and salt with ground rice tableside. Some pieces only need a touch of salt to bring out the flavours of the ingredient, while others will work particularly well with the fish and soy-based tentsuyu. The chef will specify the condiment that works best for the item currently being served.
Reservations are essential at Tempura Endo Yasaka. Have your concierge make one for you – it’ll be one of the highlights of your time in Kyoto. You’ll also want to budget about 2 hours for lunch or dinner, as each course will be served separately in the order they’re cooked in.
For more Kyoto tempura choices, see our Best Tempura in Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Tempura Endo Yasaka
Name in Japanese:
566 Komatsu-cho, Higashiyama-ku
Non-smoking area: Yes
4min walk from Kiyomizu-michi Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station
Official site (English)
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