Friday, November 5, 2010

Haru & Shrimp Tempura

Tempura, properly prepared, is an exceptional delight.  A light, clean, crispy coating over shrimp, sweet potato, carrots and more. It is also a measuring stick I use with Japanese restaurants, to assess their quality.  Can they make good tempura?  If so, I bet the rest of their food will be equally as delicious.

On my last visit to Haru, a Japanese restaurant below the shops of the Prudential Center, I had issue with their tempura.  The tempura batter was too thick, maybe overcooked, and felt spongy when I touched it. The matter was brought to the attention of their General Manager Michael Slavin, who stated. "After researching our Tempura Batter recipe, I found out we were not adding enough liquid to the batter. This is totally an oversight on my part. We have since modified our recipe to reflect what every other Restaurant in the Haru concept does; 4 parts tempura batter to 4 parts water and 1 part soda water (previously it was on a one to one scale). Since “revising” our in-house recipe, the consistency is much lighter and crispier on all of the Tempura items."

So I recently dropped by for lunch, to determine whether the tempura had improved or not. I ordered the Chicken Teriyaki lunch box ($13.75), which includes a California roll, 2 shrimp tempura, white rice and miso soup or salad.  In fact, the box also had three pieces of veggie tempura, including a sweet potato.  The shrimp tempura has definitely improved, and was much lighter and crunchier than my prior visit. It was now a proper tempura, though it technically still could have been a bit lighter. The veggie tempura were perfect, so they could make their shrimp tempura even better. But it is still very good and they certainly have made the necessary changes to their recipe. I would order it again on my next visit to Haru.

The rest of the lunch was very good too, as well as the service.


JacquelineC said...

Now if they could fix the shrimp they source...I'll bet it's not sustainable!

ackebea said...

I agree