Tokyo Tokyo Delicious Museum2023


Font size

Chef’s Interview

Kaneko Hannosuke

"Edomae" is an indispensable keyword in Tokyo's food scene. Of these dishes, tendon (tempura rice bowl) is probably the one that has been most popular among the common people. Kaneko Hannosuke, which has its main location in Nihonbashi, has been pursuing tendon for the general public under the motto of being smart and bold. We spoke with Daisuke Otsuka, one of the restaurant's representatives and the person responsible for the development of "Edomae Tendon no Atama," which will be sold for a limited time only at the Tokyo Tokyo Delicious Museum 2023 (TTDM2023), about his passion for Edomae cuisine.

I want customers to heartily enjoy the tendon soaked in our secret sauce.

Please tell us why Kaneko Hannosuke is committed to offering "tendon for the common people ".

Kaneko Hannosuke, for whom the restaurant is named after, was the grandfather of the founder, Kaneko Shinya, who was a leading figure in the world of Japanese cuisine. Before his death, he expressed his concern about the future of Edomae cuisine, saying, "Tempura, which used to be a food for the common people, has become a luxury food." By carrying on this idea, we started a tendon restaurant that caters to the common people.

The motto of Kaneko Hannosuke's tendon is "smart and bold". Despite the smart pricing, one of the features of our dishes is that the tempura is boldly arranged and has a strong flavor that pairs perfectly with the rice. We deep-fry our tempura in thick batter and dark sesame oil so that the secret sauce can soak in. We also include a half-boiled egg tempura in the tendon, and our aim is to have the yolk break down in the middle of the dish to change the taste. Our ultimate goal is to create a tendon that makes you want to shovel down the rice, the exact opposite of what you would expect to find at a so-called "high-end" restaurant.

Our secret sauce is based on the "Edomae donburi (rice bowl) sauce" recipe left behind by Kaneko Hannosuke. It is characterized by its strong but moderate sweetness, and we are proud to say that it is a taste loved by the common people of Tokyo.

Is there any particular style that you place importance on as one of the restaurants that carry on Edomae style cuisine?

We don't think of doing anything pretentious, but rather just putting our heart and soul into each dish and making sure it tastes good. In fact, at our main branch in Nihonbashi, the Edomae tendon is the only item on the menu. This came naturally as we put our heart and soul into each dish.

However, the reason why the main restaurant is located in Nihonbashi is because of our commitment to the Edomae style. Until the Tsukiji Market was established, Tokyo's main fish market was located in Nihonbashi, and we wanted to demonstrate the spirit of Edomae, the use of fresh seafood from the sea, in our location as well.

Putting our heart and soul into each dish. We want to bring the sophistication of Kaneko Hannosuke to the world.

Could you tell us about the "Edomae Tendon no Atama" that will be sold for a limited time only at TTDM2023?

We developed this dish to make our tendon available not only to people in Tokyo, but also to those who have difficulty visiting our restaurants, by using the latest freezing technology to flash-freeze the "atama" of our signature Edomae tendon. Perhaps it is not a common term, but we used to call the bowl of rice "atama" and that became the name of this dish.

Although a variety of frozen foods are now available, it is difficult to make tempura into frozen food, as it tends to emit an odor and have a squishy batter when defrosted. However, this time, we were able to develop the dish thanks to our encounter with the latest refrigeration equipment. It is a device called a blast chiller, which rapidly cools freshly deep-fried tempura with cold air at temperatures of up to -40°C to seal in the flavor, aroma, and moisture.

However, it took about a year and a half of trial and error to develop it. Some of the ingredients for our Edomae tendon were not suitable for freezing, such as half-boiled eggs, so we began by reviewing the ingredients, and then made detailed adjustments to the oil temperature, deep-frying time, and moisture content of the batter so that the result would be comparable to the tempura served in the restaurant when defrosted. As a result, we were able to create a finished product that recreated the taste and texture of the dish that we serve in the restaurant as close as possible, and with beautifully sprinkled flowers on the batter.

Do you have any plans to sell the "Edomae Tendon no Atama" to the rest of the world in the future?

We have just developed the product, and we are still in the process of discussing how to sell it in our restaurants and online, but we want to make our tendon available to as many people as possible, not only in Japan but also around the world. However, we do not want to develop something that does not maintain the quality of Kaneko Hannosuke. All we have done is to continue our efforts to let customers enjoy a bowl of tendon to their heart's content, and I believe that this attitude and spirit will never change.