It’s crucial to be able to find cheap, fast food sometimes. There are very few options for vegetarians, and almost none for vegans. One decent place is Tenya, a Japanese fast food chain that serves tendon, short for tempura donburi. Basically, it is vegetables and seafood fried in batter, dipped in a soy-based sauce, and served on top of steamed white rice. The nice thing about Tenya is that they have a vegetable-only selection – the yasai tendon (野菜天丼). It is important to note, however, that the batter has eggs, the dipping sauce has fish broth, and the vegetables and seafood are fried together.
I went to get some tendon the other day, and decided to try the spring vegetable tendon set, which is served with miso soup and a small bowl of udon. The vegetables were Japanese eggplant, umeboshi, kakiage (carrots and onions that are minced and mixed together), sugar snap peas, sweet potato, and daikon. I added a lotus root and green bean topping as extras to mine.
Well, my reaction was a bit mixed. I have to say that umeboshi should not be fried! Otherwise, everything else was pretty good. I won’t say that Tenya is the most delicious restaurant in the world, but it is good quality for the speed and price. Another thing that is great about Tenya is that they are located all over Japan, and if you are in a big city like Tokyo you can find them just about anywhere.