Shizuoka prefecture, with its temperate climate perfect for agriculture, also has Japan’s leading fisheries, Suruga Bay. In this area which is a treasure trove of land and sea ingredients, the famous tempura restaurant Tempura Naruse has taken the nation’s food lovers captive.
After graduating from university, restaurant owner Takeo Shimura began his career as a chef after he was shocked at the deliciousness of ingredients from Shizuoka while working at a restaurant in Yaizu, Shizuoka. After six and a half years, he was working and being given the responsibility of an 8-seater tempura corner, he began to pursue his own tempura. In September of 2007, Shimura opened Tempura Naruse.
Shimura’s principle, derived from years of experience, is “don’t touch the ingredient as much as possible until right before it is made into tempura, in order for the flavor to be experienced”. The chef does not compromise in the selection of ingredients as well: every morning, Shimura meets with Naoki Maeda, owner of fishmonger, Sasue Maeda Uoten, where they discuss the day’s menus and he purchases top quality seafood to suit guests’ needs, while the staff directly harvests vegetables from contract farmers in Shizuoka. The seafood is cut and prepared in front of guests, and vegetables are left untouched until just before it needs to be served. By doing so, the natural flavors of these ingredients are maximized.
Only one course is served, consisting of sashimi, 13 to 15 pieces of tempura, the main dish and sweets. The recommended main tempura is the Shizuoka cutlassfish (content of the course may vary depending on the availability of the ingredients). This fish may be offered at the beginning of the course and is very thick and rich with natural fat compared to the average cutlassfish. It is best paired with tempura dipping sauce containing shaved radish.
Other carefully selected seafood which can be enjoyed are the bigfin reef squid, which has a sweet flavor when allowed to mature, and natural Japanese tiger prawn from Lake Hamana, which is served with its own deep fried prawn butter.
The exquisite vegetables are also worthy to be mentioned. The deep, sweet flavors of potatoes and sweet potatoes, for example, are carefully deep fried at a low temperature and brought out of the oil at the perfect timing. This is the only place where you can enjoy the supreme taste of fresh seafood and freshly harvested vegetables before they are shipped to Tsukiji.
The restaurant is a simple place with 7 counter seats. Many guests from other prefectures visit the restaurant and it is perfect for entertaining, anniversaries, dates, as well as entertaining important guests.
* The availability of an English version of this page does not guarantee that the restaurant can provide services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that, even if stated, there may still be days when English speaking staff are unavailable.
■20-minute walk from Tokaido Shinkansen Shizuoka Station