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Fresh tempura spot debuts new menu

By Caitlin Basilio Photos By ANTHONY CONSILLIO
July 31, 2016

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Mini Unagi Chazuke ($9) and Assorted Pickles ($4)

Mini Unagi Chazuke ($9) and Assorted Pickles ($4)

Since opening in January, Tempura Ichidai has risen to the top of many locals’ list of favorite Japanese restaurants. As part of Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa Wing, the eatery is proud to offer the freshest tempura in the state.

“Before Tempura Ichidai, there was no tempura bar in Hawaii,” explains vice president Masayoshi Kurita. He says the shop is doing so well because “guests want to eat fresh, crispy tempura.”

Patrons are welcome to sit at the bar so that they can enjoy their tempura during a dining experience unlike any other. “Our chefs fry and cook in front of you, and that’s the freshest tempura you’re going to get,” says Kurita.

Shrimp Tempura Donburi Set ($19) and Kauai Shrimp Karaage ($10)

Shrimp Tempura Donburi Set ($19) and Kauai Shrimp Karaage ($10)

A classic and go-to order at the eatery is Shrimp Tempura Donburi Set ($19), offering locally grown kale, kabocha (pumpkin) and shrimp tempura served over rice. “Locals love shrimp, so that’s why this is the most popular one,” adds Kurita.

Another tempura dish that’ll excite your palate is Omar Tempura ($28). The large lobster meal served with shiso and asparagus tempura is sure to fill you up.

Omar Tempura ($28)

Omar Tempura ($28)

The dining space — whose atmosphere makes you feel as though you’re actually visiting Japan — has more to offer than just tempura. In fact, last week Tempura Ichidai debuted a new menu. Kurita highly recommends Assorted Sashimi ($18), Kauai Shrimp Karaage ($10) and Mini Unagi Chazuke ($9), along with sides such as Takowasa ($5), or cold octopus mixed with wasabi, and Assorted Pickles ($4).

Before, guests could only choose from donbori and teishoku — both of which include a large main dish and numerous sides. “The problem was that if customers wanted to only eat a little bit, they couldn’t because it was just too much food,” explains Kurita. “That’s why now we have a new menu, and we want guests to enjoy other Japanese foods aside from tempura, such as our sashimi, appetizers and udon.”

Assorted sashimi ($18) with Takowasa ($5)

Assorted sashimi ($18) with Takowasa ($5)

Tempura Ichidai

Ala Moana Center, Ewa Wing
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
955-8899
Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (last order 9:30 p.m.)