August 22, 2012
A real hole in the wall, Tenkaichi might not be the ideal place to take a first date or even a family, since it feels run-down and dodgy.
The reason to head here is the food: be sure to ask for the special menu of Okinawan cuisine. Few other outlets in KL serve recipes such as "mozuku" _ viscous, vinegar-marinated seaweed flown in from Okinawa.
Fermented tofu's an acquired taste, like cheese left on the beach under the sun. Less risky: peanut tofu, with a texture in between regular bean curd & jelly.
Fried bamboo shoots, seaweed & konnyaku. A staggeringly stinky mix; the best tip we can offer is to hold your breath while consuming this.
Po-Po. Traditional finger food that's fairly addictive, comprising creamy, savory miso pork wrapped in warm, crisp crepes.
Bitter gourd with ume & bonito dressing. Might fit in at a Chinese eatery. Maybe.
Fried pancake with "aasa" seaweed. Not too doughy or greasy, mercifully.
Taco Rice. According to Wikipedia, this recipe was likely created in the 1960s by an Okinawan chef who combined rice with Tex-Mex food to satisfy American marines. The outcome: a hybrid of steamed rice topped with taco-flavored ground beef, cheese & salsa.
Tenkaichi's sesame ramen is worthwhile, with milky-thick broth that's distinctively aromatic.
Black is beautiful: squid ink ramen, relatively less flavorsome but with thicker soup.
Regular pork cha-siu ramen is also available. Not bad, but not the most memorable offering here. It lacks the seasoned egg that we always crave in ramen.
Even the booze is bizarre: Okinawan shochu mixed with turmeric (!) & Seekwasaa cocktail (with an Okinawan lemon juice base).
Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.