Toyotsune – a restaurant renowned for its Toriten in Beppu

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Nestled in the small city of Beppu, Toyotsune is a restaurant that is famous for its Toriten(I.e. chicken tempura). It’s loved by locals and tourists alike and I couldn’t pass up the chance to dine here. Due to its popularity, I had to wait for at least an hour before I could get a seat.

The staff were kind enough to provide an English menu which was appreciated. I decided to get their specialty Tokujo Tendon Tokumori set(1310 yen or $11.76 SGD), a Chicken Tempura(Toriten) Set(1300 yen or $11.67 SGD) and a Fried Flounder(600 yen or $5.39 SGD). I found their prices to be remarkably cheap considering I have to pay at least $15 or more for a tempura set in Singapore.

The Tendon set came with a rice bowl, miso soup and pickles. However, I found the Chicken Tempura set to be interesting as it came with miso soup, chicken rice(100 yen top-up), the  Toriten, and an assortment of various pickles and seaweed. It’s something that you don’t find anywhere in Singapore!

My first bite of tendon was drizzled with sweet sauce and my eyes glistened once I tasted the tempura. The batter was crispy but was thin and light to eat, and the prawn tasted exceptionally fresh, succulent, and had a subtle sweetness to it. The miso soup also had a strong miso flavour to it and was delicious.

However, it was Toriten that was the star of the show. The Toriten itself came with ponzu sauce and mustard, but I decided to try it plain for the first bite. Similar to the tempura, the batter wasn’t heavy to eat, but the chicken itself blew my mind. It was so succulent, juicy, and was bursting with flavour. The most astonishing feature about it was that it was chicken breast meat, yet it was tender enough to taste like I was eating a chicken drumstick! It’s unbelievable how the restaurant was able to cook the Toriten to such a delectable degree. In addition, the chicken rice was also a new experience for me. Unlike the normal Hainanese Chicken Rice that I’m used to eating in Singapore, this version of chicken rice tasted mild yet flavorful, and had pickles in it which made it even more addictive to eat. It was an eye-opening experience for me, one which I’ll never forget.

The Fried Flounder that I ordered was medium sized and the meat was easy to separate from the bone using my chopstick. It was flaky and delicious, and the only complaint I had was that it had a slight fishy taste to it. However, I found this to be worth the money for just 600 yen.

I had a pleasant experience dining at Toyostune. The ambience, food and staff blew my mind as the staff were so courteous and kind to assist me when I had questions. In addition, the restaurant was surprisingly quiet even though it was packed with diners and there was even a section where diners can sit on a tatami floor to eat. Moreover, the food was mind blowing as it was by far the best Tempura I’ve ever tasted and the Toriten was a delight to eat. I now understand why Toyostune is so popular and it deserves to be as you can expect top quality food when you dine with them!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10

Toyotsune Beppu Station Branch
Japan, 〒874-0934 Oita, Beppu, Ekimae Honmachi, 5−30 別府駅前ビル 1階
Opening Hours: Daily from 11am-2pm; 5pm-9pm

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