Inside Pinto restaurant, at InterContinental Phuket Resort
‘Tengoku’ offers veritable Japanese cuisine inspired by the ancient techniques and presentation of Osaka’s cooking masters and brought to you with a contemporary and fun twist.
Open time: Daily 6pm-10pm
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Resevation: +66 (0)76 629 999phuket.intercontinental.com/dining/tengoku
Featuring a menu of authentic Japanese favourites prepared with a creative twist, Tengoku tantalizes the taste buds from the first bite
Upon entering Tengoku, the wait staff immediately begin to tell the story of the restaurant which is inspired by the ancient cooking techniques and presentation of Osaka’s cooking masters. To be honest, it’s quite impressive how well-versed the wait staff are in the art of Japanese cuisine, even being able to describe the often hard to pronounce Japanese ingredients used to create each dish. Heeding the chef’s recommendation, my dining partner and I order sake and peruse the menu.
Tengoku’s Gourmet Menu set is too good to pass up, so we decide on Akami, a tuna tenderloin with truffle shoyu and Hamachi Don, a yellow tail fish with Umami powder, Eihire Shiro Tare and Yakumi. Additionally, we order extra dishes - starters of Nibitashi Nasu and Tako, and Yuzu Yakitori, Hamachi and Madai from the Robatayaki menu, a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen and Kobe Wagyu Cube Roll A4 from the Teppanyaki menu. The food is served with immaculate presentation, and of course, we snap lots of photographs before we dig in.
I am extremely fussy about Japanese food. I lived in Japan for five years, and have often been disappointed with Japanese restaurants in Phuket. However, there is no disappointment at Tengoku. Dining here is an absolute delight!
Each and every one of the dishes we sampled at Tengoku is made from premium ingredients, including those sourced from Japan. Chef Ice, who is trained entirely in Japanese cuisine with work experience in Kyoto, is a treasure. His attention to every detail and his ability to conjure up authentic Japanese tastes is admirable.
Of all the dishes we sampled, my favourites included the Nibitashi Nasu, which is a scrumptious dish of grilled organic eggplant with dashi, grated daikon and ginger, and the Tako, octopus with aonori powder, bonito, Japanese cabbage puree and takoyaki sauce. The flavours of this dish are so well blended, and the octopus is as soft as butter. The Tonkotsu Ramen was the most authentic I’ve tasted since leaving Japan, and obviously, the Kobe Wagyu Cube Roll A4 is one of the most ultra-premium cuts of beef available on the market. It’s so very tender and full of outstanding flavour.
Although we are completely stuffed, we don’t say no to dessert. We share traditional Japanese desserts of Dango and Anmitsu. Dango is a rice cake with red bean paste, strawberry, matcha, Hokkaido cream sauce and matcha ice cream, while Anmitsu is a refreshing dish of parfait jelly, red bean, local Phuket fruit, strawberry, orange, rice cake and black sugar syrup all mixed with ice. The desserts are beautiful to look at and decadent to eat.
Tengoku is open every Thursday to Monday from 6:00pm-10:00pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Located in the InterContinental Phuket Resort, there is plenty of parking on-site.