A 15-minute drive from JR Takasaki Station in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, Tempura Mokkosu sits in a quiet, lush residential neighborhood, helmed by Owner-Chef Hiroshi Yamaguchi.
Chef Yamaguchi trained at Tempura Shinjuku Tsunahachi, a long-established restaurant, for eight years and further honed his culinary skills at Keyaki Kurosawa, a Japanese restaurant renowned for its soba noodles and kappo cuisine, in Roppongi for two years. Then, in 2006, he opened his own restaurant, Tempura Mokkosu, in Takasaki City. The word “Mokkosu” in the restaurant’s name is derived from the dialect of his home prefecture of Kumamoto, where local stubborn men are called “Higo Mokkosu.” It reflects his commitment to being stubbornly obsessed with offering tasty tempura.
One of the obsessions is about the oil used for tempura. In order to prevent a heavy feeling in the stomach after eating, 100% Taihaku Sesame Oil (vegetable oil) is used to deep-fry tempura. The flour is a blend of Shiroganetsuru Flour, locally grown in Gunma, and Super Violet Flour. The water is sourced from Kamihira, famous for its mineral water, in the neighboring Fujioka City.
The fish and shellfish are supplied through Uoichi, a local broker in Takasaki City that goes to Toyosu Market every day for wholesale purchase. The vegetables are selected and directly purchased by the chef himself from local farms. Thus, all the ingredients of tempura are carefully selected by the chef, who says “I would like to get spinach with thick roots in winter so that guests can enjoy their flaky texture and natural sweetness.”
The prix-fixe (fixed-price) meal starts with appetizers, salad, and sashimi, followed by 10 pieces of tempura. The sashimi also includes raw horsemeat delivered fresh from the chef’s home prefecture of Kumamoto. It is served with soy sauce that is also delivered from Kumamoto. All the other pieces of sashimi are accompanied with additive-free homemade soy sauce pressed from moromi (fermenting mash used in the production of sake or soy sauce) aged for one year. The tempura is offered with tempura sauce and salt for guests to choose from. The salt is sourced from the Himalayas and freshly ground in front of guests.
The Sushi Tempura of Urchin, the signature of the restaurant, features one of the first five urchins of the day on the market, served on deep-fried sushi rice seasoned with red vinegar and wrapped with nori seaweed.
The sake list offers a variety of sake, mainly from Gunma and Kumamoto but also from around Japan. The wine list mainly features Champagne wines that go well with tempura. The list of wines by the bottle even includes Champagne Salon, a precious wine craved by wine lovers. Some Champagne wines are also available by the glass.
Marked by an owl motif created by a local artist, the restaurant has a large eye-catching air duct. The main dining room is furnished with a counter and eight chairs. There is also a private room (seating up to two to five guests) with a separate entrance. It is definitely worth visiting with your family, partner, friends, and coworkers. Please enjoy the seasonal bounty of Gunma here at Tempura Mokkosu.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
15 minutes by taxi from the east exit of Takasaki Station