1 Here I am with Master Tempura Chef, Masao Matsui, and Mr. Kenichi Kubota, President of Ootoya Holdings in Japan. America Ootoya owns the restaurant. http://www.tempuramatsui.com
2 The appetizer course, or sakizuke, included simmered octopus sakura-ni, homemade sesame tofu topped with wasabi and dashi, and simmered eggplant hisui-ni. They were all served on this beautiful plate.
3 Next, we were each given a cup of chawan-mushi with red rice served with Tai fish and uni ankake. It was absolutely delicious. Tai fish is also known as sea bream, Japan's most kingly fish.
4 The chawan-mushi was served in this covered cup.
5 Then we each got a plate of assorted sashimi including tuna, Tai fish and sake-steeped abalone. The sashimi was served on a bed of ice. All the fish was very fresh.
6 This was the sous chef, Kentaro Yagai, preparing the rice bowls.
7 Chef Matsui had a great time with his guests.
8 To make the batter, Chef Matsui used egg yolk, mineral ice water, and flour - that's it. He wouldn't share what kind of flour, but I have my guesses.
9 Chef Matsui added the flour one scoop at a time, little by little, until he felt the consistency was to his liking.
10 Chef Matsui was always ready with a smile even as he prepared the tempura batter. He often referred to it as "my tempura" indicating there was no one else making tempura like him.
11 Chef Matsui tested the batter by putting droplets of batter into the oil until it was just right.
12 It is all about the tempura batter. Chef Matsui used a thickly glazed clay bowl and kept it as cool as possible. He also used long chop sticks, which are the best for mixing tempura batters.
13 Here was the tempura test that indicated everything was ready.
14 Chef Matsui began frying his ingredients for the guests. Chef Matsui spent more than 40-years perfecting his tempura recipe in Japan. He owned several restaurants in Tokyo before coming to Nw York.
15 In making the tempura, cotton seed oil and white sesame oil are brought to a high burning point. This was a specially designed cooker and fryer. It kept the heat absolutely stable. The Japanese strainer was used to constantly skim oil and get unwanted pieces out of the cooker.
16 Crab and white fish were ready to be fried in tempura batter. This Japanese neta box kept the food fresh.
17 Here was a head of shrimp tempura taken out of the batter and placed on paper before it was plated.
18 Here is the kisu fish being cooked in the oil. Kisu, or Japanese whiting, is a popular fish for tempura, yakimono and sashimi.
19 This was sliced fillet of kisu fish. The meat of the kisu is soft and not fatty. It has also been informally called "sand-borer" and "smelt-whiting."
20 A king crab leg tempura.
21 This was mushroom tempura - look how light and crispy the tempura batter is on the mushroom.
22 A closer look at the mushroom tempura.
23 This was half of a scallop tempura almost raw on the inside, but crispy on outside.
24 Here, the scallops were sliced before they were plated and served.
25 This was the best asparagus I have ever had. It was just dropped into the oil.
27 Fava beans - three fava beans fried in tempura batter.
28 This was the special tempura sauce with dashi and daikon radish.
29 A television crew was at the restaurant shooting the dinner.
30 This painted seashell dish was used to serve one of the courses...
31 ... That course was Hamo with cucumber and plum sauce. It was served after the tempura seafood and vegetables. Hamo is a white meat fish from the eel family.
32 Next was Ten-don, which was a vegetable and seafood tempura served over rice.
33 This was Steven Hall, co-founder of Hall PR, which represents Tempura Matsui.
34 A beautiful plate that was used to serve some of the food.
35 Another plate on display.
36 This was a sake box - a Japanese dinner is not complete without a premium cold sake.
37 And, this was the sake glass, which was placed in the box and served with the drink.