Tempura - One of Japan's greatest culinary accomplishments

Tempura Kondo

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Familiar ingredients given a different face.
Taking ingredients to their maximum potential,
and creating the ultimate in cuisine.

"Tempura is essentially steamed food."
So says chef Fumio Kondo, Japan's greatest tempura master. His eyes are strict and exacting as he works but his face always transforms when he speaks, becoming bright and cheerful.

As Kondo says, tempura is the art of using steam and moisture to bring out the flavours in food. Those flavours are captured inside the outer coating to allow diners to enjoy all that fancy flavour in a single bite.

Tempura Kondo provides customers with a vast array of tempura vegetables.
Tempura in the Edo area was made using seafood, but Kondo rewrote the rule book when he started using various types of vegetable.

He leads the tempura world in his use of scant, thin batter rather than thick, which allows the colours and aromas of the ingredients to come through. At some point that unconventional thinking became the norm, and Kondo grabbed the attention of gourmands worldwide.

One of the greatest joys this restaurant offers diners is the experience of seeing familiar ingredients in a completely new light and enjoying the enriched flavours.

Examples include the surprisingly sweet flavour of the carrot kakiage, shaped almost like a sugar sculpture; the soft texture and luxurious aroma of white fish tempura; and the ultimate expression of the natural flavours of the seasonal ingredients.

However, these are just momentary flashes shown by the dishes. What makes Tempura Kondo special is the fact that diners can listen to the bubbling oil as they watch their meal being cooked.

Their satsuma-imo is just one such dish. This masterpiece features a thick lump of satsuma-imo perfectly heated through. His pure desire to give people the perfect dish is what makes this all possible.


Chef Profile

Fumio KondoFumio Kondo

Born Tokyo, 1947.
Began at Hilltop Hotel at 18, and started training at "Japanese Tempura Hilltop." Became chef at 23, and helped build the restaurant's fame over the next 20 years.
Left in 1991 to open his own restaurant, Tempura Kondo, in Ginza.



When did you start doing vegetable tempura?
It was when I was at Hilltop Hotel. I didn't look at tempura as being just a way of cooking.

I looked at it as a form of cuisine, like Japanese or French. If that was true, then it would be all right to use vegetables as well. But, when I first started using vegetables, people would get angry and say things like, "I didn't come here to eat side dishes."
What are your goals as a tempura chef?
I want tempura to become a major type of food worldwide. It shouldn't always be about sushi. We need new ideas, need to make creative tempura, and communicate that to as many people overseas as we can.

I also want Japanese young people to eat it as well, so we need to try to keep the prices as low as possible. I want to keep challenging the traditional concept of tempura.
What do you focus on as a chef?
I want to offer my customers the best I can.
That's why I do as much as possible by myself, from making the dipping sauce to going to Tsukiji to buy fish. I leave the restaurant at midnight and leave my house at 5AM.
It's been like this since I started the restaurant, but thanks to everyone's help, I'm still healthy and going strong.

Restaurant Info

Restaurant NameTempura Kondo
AreaGinza / Yurakucho / Marunouchi / Yaesu
Reservation Contact Number


(Only available in Japanese)

Opening day24th July, 1991
Hours of Operation Lunch: From 12:00 (Last order 13:30)
Dinner: From 17:00 (Last order 20:30)
Closed Sundays
Service charge-

*Limited to children 12 years and older with proper table manners.

Capacity 25 seats
Seat area

Counter seating avalible

Smoking Smoking prohibited
Parking Unavailable

*Coin parking available nearby.

ReceptionistReceptions/Business Dinners
Can vehicles be arranged?Yes
Vegetarian Possible
Foreign Language Menu Available


Foreign Language Speaking Staff Available


AddressSakaguchi Bldg 9th Floor, 5-5-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku, , Tokyo, 104-0061
Phone Number


(Only available in Japanese)

Fax Number


(Only available in Japanese)

Access1 minute walk from Ginza St. on the Tokyo Metro Ginza,Marunouchi and Hibiya Lines.

Restaurant Interior