Tendon Kohaku is a rice bowl chain in Japan that recently expanded around the world, adding to the list of famous food chains to come to the Lower Mainland.
Tendon Kohaku Review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Last month, I went to The Cinematheque to watch a retrospective of the films by one of the greatest living Japanese directors, Hirokazu kore-Eda. Like the characters in his films, I ran very quickly to the theatre before the film began. I even had to run when it was raining heavily and a tornado was wreaking havoc near the airport.
As I was on my way, I saw a new rice bowl place near the Provincial Court Buildings that is brightly lit and looked like the type of restaurant that I would see in Japan. Food was also a part of kore-Eda’s films and after watching one of his films, I decided to go there to eat dinner. Tendon Kohaku is a rice bowl chain in Japan that recently expanded around the world, adding to the list of famous food chains to come to the Lower Mainland.
There is not only a location in Vancouver but also two locations in Burnaby, one near Metrotown and another neighbouring Brentwood Town Centre. Their signature rice bowl is like a tour of the various regions of Japan including rice that is imported from Hokkaido. Various seafood, meat, and vegetables are dipped in their specially formulated batter and fried without being oily.
Finally, the fried contents are placed on top of the rice with a bowl to put them on the side and their signature sauce is poured on top; it is also available in a spicy option. Customarily, you begin by putting some of the tempura in the side bowl and then breaking the fried egg to mix it with the rice. I got the main rice bowl which is the Kohaku Tendon which consists of two prawns, squid, chicken, pumpkin, French beans, baby corn (Similar to the fried corn bites seen in Still Walking), and egg.
The positioning of the tempura made the rice bowl look like beautiful art. It was crunchy, flavourful, and I did not taste the oil. When getting the spicy option, the sauce is spicy but easy to eat. The rice is soft, dry, and easy to get with chopsticks.
They have various sides including the famous Nagoya wings which are like Japan’s version of Buffalo wings. These wings are huge, so you have to split them to reach all the meat. The wings are crunchy, and the meat is juicy. I also got the very refreshing Hokkaido milk tea, which is served in a reusable clear can filled with ice.
At a decent price of $17, the rice bowls at Tendon Kohaku present the true rice bowl experience. Once you eat one the first time, you will get used to eating them.