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.