Teppei Japanese Restaurant, Tanjong Pagar
I love tempura bars. Unfortunately, the only places in Singapore to get a proper rendition has been high-end restaurants like the very expensive Tenshin, thus keeping it from becoming a regular affair. That has finally changed. This guy just opened up next to Keisuke's Tonkotsu King at the Orchid Hotel, and I'm loving this tiny place with counter-only seating (1 Tras Link #01-18, 6222-7363).
They're running lunch sets for just under S$20 (US$15), and yet they still fry each item individually in front of you so that they arrive piping hot and crispy, all with the requisite curry and green tea salt at your disposal. They've also got a variety of otsumami scattered on top of the counter for you to grab at will. Granted, the batter wasn't as fine as I was hoping for, but at these prices I wasn't complaining, especially when the quality of ingredients was still far ahead of any of those nasty mass market chains around town.
The only thing to keep in mind is that the smell of grease seeps a bit onto your clothes, so I'm only coming here if I don't have any meetings immediately afterwards. But it's kinda cool that they have a little onigiri stand at the register if you still need a little snack later. Tanjong Pagar seems to be increasingly forming a little cluster of proper Japanese restaurants like Cuppage and Robertson Quay have had, yeah?