Fresh out of the fryer from the people that brought you Chir Chir and Masizzim comes Kogane Yama, a specialty tendon restaurant that joins the glut of other tendon joints that have been proliferating the F&B landscape in the past year or so.
What sets Kogane Yama apart from the pack is your ability to customize your tendon bowl, right down to how spicy you’d like your sauce. Pick from 4 bowls — Chicken($13.80), Prawn($13.80), Vegetable($11.80) and Mixed($15.80). Then select your choice of rice, udon or soba. Lastly choose from 4 levels of spiciness for your tentsuyu sauce.
Battered in premium Japanese flour and fish seasoning, each piece of tempura is freshly deep-fried in a soybean and sesame oil blend for a crisp, crunchy bite.
Our bowl of choice is the Mixed Bowl, where you get to sample almost everything from other bowls, including prawn, chicken fillet, sweet potato, shiitake, enoki mushrooms, ebiko and the unique seaweed and shiso leaf tempura. If I were to be honest, I enjoyed the vegetarian options more. The crunch of batter followed by the juicy succulence of mushroom, creaminess of sweet potato and the crisp herbaceousness of seaweed and shiso leaf fared better than the slightly dry chicken fillet and nondescript prawn. What I enjoyed though were the crispy prawn heads fried separately from the body. So filled with umami I must have popped 5 or more easily before stopping myself. If you haven’t dared tried deep-fried prawn heads, you don’t know what you’re missing out.
The tentsuyu sauces – a blend of garlic, sesame oil and shoyu were tasty and certainly helped alleviate the monotony of deep-fried food. Besides a non-spicy version, the others have birds eye chilli and capsaicin added to them, and range from Level 1 to 3 in terms of heat, though I found the first 2 indistinguishable in their mildness. Tip: Get Level 3.
Want more? Add $2 to make it a set meal with chawanmushi and miso soup.
Personally I preferred the rice over soba or udon, as these were too toothless for my liking, even after having taken into account the time spent on food photography.
We also had the opportunity to try the Azuki Matcha Latte($6.80), which was a sweet and refreshing ending to the heavy meal.
If you are looking for a value for money tendon with generous portions in the Bugis area, you won’t do wrong by Kogane Yama.
#02-50, Bugis Junction
200 Victoria St
Sunday to Thursday, 11am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am – 11pm
*** This was a hosted tasting. ***