Slowly but surely, tempura bowls are taking over Singapore. I remember the first tempura bowl I ate was Tendon Ginza Itsuki at Tanjong Pagar and it has since become my Singapore benchmark for all tempura bowls in Singapore.
I’ve read reviews on Kogane Yama and many of them focused on the customisation of the tempura bowl. It got me excited because many of the tempura bowls around only have about three or four variations of the bowl – seafood, non-seafood, vegetables. I thought that I could finally pick my favourite ingredients! (or rather, just not pick the bell peppers).
But… chey. Customisation here refers to choosing which type bowl you want, choosing your carb (which honestly is also offered in some tendon shops), and choosing your spiciness level. Erm okay.
Here at Kogane Yama, you’ll have to pay for chawanmushi and miso soup. To have either udon or soba, it’s a dollar more. And they don’t serve water as well so… you get it. Top up, top up, top up. Urgh.
Putting my annoyance aside, the food is delicious! The tempura batter is light, fluffy, crispy, and well seasoned. It can definitely fight with Tendon Ginza Itsuki tastewise. I tried spicy level 1 and really loved the extra kick. I did think that it was already quite spicy for a level 1, so for those who would be trying for the first time, start with level 1.
What disappointed me was the variety for the vegetable bowl. They didn’t even have eggplant! Heyyyy, I’ve been to a lot of Tendon shops, and even in those family Japanese restaurants that don’t specialise in Tendons, the eggplant is a must-have vegetable for all vegetable tempura. Where’s the pumpkin? The oyster mushroom? The lotus root?
The rice was also barely enough. My partner isn’t a big eater, but halfway through the bowl he had already finished his rice, so I had to give him part of mine. I then had to ration my portion very carefully. The reason why I brought this up is because I feel that Tendons are slightly saltier because of the sauce, so having sufficient rice is a must. Again, we are not big eaters and we never had troubles with other Tendon shops so this really jumped at us.
All in all, I really liked the taste of Kogane Yama but my experience wasn’t the best so I might drop by only if I’m at Bugis and craving for Tendon bowls.
200 Victoria Street, #02-50, S(188021)
Mondays to Thursdays 11am to 10pm
Fridays and Saturdays 11am to 11pm