Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar

Tenmasa KL – Japanese Tempura Bar

Tenmasa KL – Japanese Tempura Bar, Platinum Park

Words: Karen Santosuosso
Photos: Peter Tan

Tenmasa KL’s tempura bar is quite a treat—the perfect place to spend lunchtime reminiscing about my days in Japan. The space is intimate and classically Japanese, with a counter seating up to 10 people and a handful of tables. Accents of light wood and dim lighting, with soft jazz music playing in the background, make for an ambience where one can forget the time. Recently placed on the Michelin Guide’s Selected list for places to dine in Kuala Lumpur, Tenmasa has most certainly earned its spot. 

Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar
Tenmasa KL – Japanese Tempura Bar
Omakase Restaurant Kuala Lumpur Menara Felda Michelin Selected
Michelin Selected Kuala Lumpur

Tenmasa KL – Tempura Omakase

For lunch, we go for the Tenmasa Omakase (RM 398), which highlights Chef Nori’s signature tempuras and a range of other bites to whet the appetite. The ingredients are mostly sourced from Japan, while some are also locally sourced from Malaysia, depending on what’s in season. 

Premium Appetisers

We embark on our omakase journey with a beautiful presentation of appetiser dishes. Each has been meticulously prepared, and my mouth is officially watering. We’re advised to start with the Hotaru Ika (firefly squid) with broad beans and cherry tomatoes topped with fresh uni in a dashi vinegar jelly. I have always wanted to see the majestic firefly squids glowing in Toyama Bay during springtime, but I didn’t realize what a delicacy they are to eat. Takenoko (bamboo shoots) with a kinome miso sauce follows the fresh squid. The bamboo has a light char balanced nicely with the sweet Japanese kinome leaf and salty miso. 

We move on to the Katsuo sashimi – two chunks of incredibly fresh bonito, which Chef Nori so cleanly slices with his sharp blade. There are delicately placed menegi microgreens placed atop the sashimi, along with a savoury Japanese green onion sauce. In my humble opinion, the star of the appetizer course is the Sakura Ebi Chawanmushi. I seriously can’t get enough of these tiny, salty, sweet shrimp that are perfectly fried to a crisp. They juxtapose the extra smooth and creamy steamed egg custard to make a wonderful medley of textures. 

Omakase Restaurant Kuala Lumpur Menara Felda Chef Nori
Chef Nori
Omakase Restaurant Kuala Lumpur Menara Felda Appetisers
Appetisers – Tenmasa KL, Japanese Tempura Bar Kuala Lumpur

Japanese Tempura Bar

At Tenmasa KL, the art of tempura takes centre stage. Chef Nori tells us that most tempura chefs are older these days compared to sushi chefs. Sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen in Japan, while restaurants specializing in tempura are fewer and far between, as most families regularly cook tempura at home. The thing is, when tempura is done as well as it is at Tenmasa under Chef Nori’s mastery, it really is elevated to a new level—setting it apart from everyday home cooking. 

Omakase Restaurant Kuala Lumpur Menara Felda Lightly Dusting the Shrimp with Flour
Lightly Dusting the Shrimp with Flour

A trio of salts, including matcha, truffle and classic sea salt, are presented along with a traditional tempura dipping sauce with grated white radish as condiments to accompany the tempura. This invites diners to tailor their experience, which is always fun. Chef Nori treats us to an ebi tempura to start. His recommendation of dipping the crispy prawn head into the classic sea salt gives a satisfying crunch. Next up is a Chitose corn tempura. The corn is bursting with sweetness and is almost milky in texture – pairing well with a dab of matcha salt. 

Omakase Restaurant Kuala Lumpur Menara Felda Trio of Salts
Trio of Salts
Tenmasa KL prawn tempura
Tenmasa KL
Tenmasa KL - Corn Tempura
Corn Tempura

An Amadai (Japanese sea bream) fish tempura follows the creamy corn. Chef Nori delicately brushes the fish with wheat flour and deep fries it. The sweet seabream is delectable and melts in the mouth. The final element of our first tempura course, though, really is the pièce de résistance —a shiso leaf tempura topped with a generous slab of uni brushed with soy sauce and a dollop of wasabi. The fresh and plump custard-like texture of the bright orange uni goes beautifully with the crisp shiso leaf.

Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar Amadai
Tenmasa KL - Uni on Tempura Shiso Leaf
Uni on Tempura Shiso Leaf – Tenmasa KL

Servers Aly and Rhona take excellent care of us, providing fresh cups of nourishing green tea and regularly clearing our dishes so everything looks pristine. We have an interlude to the tempura dishes – a Japanese salad with onion dressing. The sharp pickled seaweed atop a bed of fresh and crunchy greens serves as a nice palate cleanser between rounds of tempura. 

Tenmasa KL - Japanese TSalad with lotus root

Next is a scallop tempura – a first for me. The scallop is decadent, juicy, and a delightful way to start our second tempura course. It pairs well with classic sea salt to enhance the scallop’s tenderness. We also have an Anago (sea eel) tempura, which is different from Unagi. The sea eel is light and delicious, along with the tempura sauce and radish. Then come two vegetable tempuras – Maitake mushroom paired with the tempura sauce and sweet potato with matcha salt. The notion of becoming a vegetarian doesn’t seem so bad when you can have veggies done to this standard. 

Tenmasa KL - Scallop Tempura
Scallop Tempura
Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar Anago
Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar Maitake Mushroom
Maitake Mushroom
Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato – Tenmasa KL, Japanese Tempura Bar Kuala Lumpur

We culminate our tempura voyage with a Kakiage Rice Bowl with Egg Tempura. The crunchy mixture of chopped prawns and veggies and crisp fried egg with a delectably runny yolk are comforting on a base of warm sushi rice. This is a bit of a ‘choose your own adventure’ as diners can go with the traditional chazuke style of pouring a full-bodied green tea soup on top or choose the dish with a sweeter teriyaki sauce on top. Mon and our videographer Jun prefer the chazuke style with a dash of fresh wasabi, while Peter and I prefer the sweet sauce. To each their own – this dish can please palates with both sweet and savoury inclinations. Both options also come with a side of traditional miso soup and radish slices pickled in-house with yuzu peel. 

Tenmasa KL - Japanese Tempura Bar Kakiage Rice Bowl with Egg Tempura with Sweet Sauce
Kakiage Rice Bowl with Egg Tempura with Sweet Sauce
Tenmasa KL - Kakiage Rice Bowl with Egg Tempura with Green Tea Soup
Kakiage Rice Bowl with Egg Tempura with Green Tea Soup

Japanese Dessert

Our dessert is simple yet refined. The Omakase set offers a matcha ice cream monaka (akin to an ice cream sandwich with crisp wafers made from mochi flour). The matcha ice cream is robust, extra creamy and not too sweet. Also on our dessert plates are a piercing red Ichigo strawberry and perfectly ripe muskmelon. It’s a sublime way to end our omakase journey, leaving us all satisfied but not overstuffed.

Tenmasa KL - Japanese melon and strawberries and monaka wafer

Tempura Bar Omakase Review

The omakase at Tenmasa KL is divine—every detail is attended to with precision and pride. Chef Nori’s offerings honour the spirit of traditional Japanese tempura while fusing a touch of innovation. Each dish has a delicate balance of taste and texture, making for a gratifying dining experience. Sit at the bar and watch Chef Nori work his magic through each course. 

Reasons to visit Tenmasa KL, Japanese Tempura Bar: delicious and fresh tempura, unique omakase experience, serene ambience in an intimate setting, excellent service; the shiso leaf tempura with creamy uni is particularly scrumptious!

Tenmasa KL
Unit 3.3 (Annexe), Menara Felda, 2F, Tower 1, Platinum Park
11 Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 013 2033708

Tenmasa Kuala Lumpur Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday: 12-3 pm & 6-10:30 pm
Sunday: Closed

Tenmasa has a full a la carte menu as well as some set options. Please find examples below. Check their website for the latest updates.

Tenmasa KL Omakase Menu and Prices
Tenmasa KL Omakase Menu and Prices


Tenmasa KL Omakase Menu and Prices
Lunch Menu and Prices


Tenmasa KL Omakase Menu and Prices
Vegetarian Menu and Prices

Find more Japanese restaurants in KL here and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.


  1. Not long ago we had sweet potatoes.

  2. Hurtownia

    I absolutely adore eating Japanese salads; I could devour them endlessly!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.