Review: Shunsaiten Tsuchiya.

We started off our three week vacation in Japan with a bang!

Shunsaiten Tsuchiya, a two Michelin starred restaurant tucked away outside the city center of Osaka, specializes in Japanese kaiseki cuisine with the art of tempura. They offer a few different menus: a combination of kaiseki and tempura or just a tempura menu. Since I thought an all tempura menu would be too much fried food, I opted for the kaiseki tempura menu.

Amuse Bouche.

Sashimi: Baby Eel, Shrimp, Snapper, and Tuna (8.5/10).

Beautiful raw seafood was highlighted with fresh wasabi and soy sauce.

Grilled Shrimp Head (8/10).

Shrimp heads, from the raw shrimp from the sashimi course, were simply grilled.

Lobster (8/10).

Luscious pieces of lobster were just lightly kissed with heat leaving the interior slightly raw.

Hassun: Seasonal Appetizer (8.5/10).

A gorgeous array of seasonal appetizers each with subtle flavors.

Various Salts and Sauce/Daikon to Accompany the Tempura.

The various salts was a nice touch as I got to choose how to season each piece of tempura that was presented.

The following dishes consisted of various ingredients (seafood, vegetables, and meat) tempura fried. What makes great tempura? Extra light and crispy coating without any grease and that’s exactly what they served. Each tempura was served with fresh lemon and you could use any of the various seasonings from above to flavor the tempura.

Kurumaebi (9/10).

Amadai (8/10).

Hotate (9/10).

Shiso with Bafun Uni (9/10).

Crab (8.5/10).

Asparagus (8/10).

Smelt (8.5/10).

Bamboo (8/10).

Clam (8.5/10).

Anago (9/10).

Baby Fish with “Bottarga” (8/10).

Lotus Root (8/10).

Miyazaki Wagyu (8.5/10).

Sweet Potato (8/10).

Seaweed Soup (7.5/10).

This almost acted as a palate cleanser after all the fried items with its clean flavors.

To end the savory courses, there’s typically always a rice dish at the end of a kaiseki experience. We could either have chazuke (broth poured over the rice) or kakiage don (fried vegetables with egg on top).

Kakiage Chazuke (7.5/10).

Kakiage Don (8/10).

Yogurt Sherbet with Fruit and Jelly (8.5/10).

Japanese desserts are typically simple and refreshing. The tart yogurt sherbet was served with various fresh fruit and neutral flavored jelly. It’s all about the various textures.

Shunsaiten Tsuchiya was a wonderful introduction to our Japan culinary adventures where subtle and bold flavors intertwine. The epitome of Japanese cuisine is letting the ingredients shine and only adding seasonings and garnishes to enhance that ingredient. Shunsaiten Tsuchiya did a fantastic job at that so my overall rating is a 8.5-9/10.

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