Walking into the restaurant feels like being transported to its Tokyo flagship: Kimono-clad waitresses greet guests at the door with deep bows, and faint shamisen music can be heard in the background. With a short bonsai tree and pebbled floors, the walkway connecting different dining areas closely resembles an indoor zen garden. Tatami rooms are open for those looking to dine in private, while large groups will get a kick from the 12-seat tempura room, where the master chef fries up batches of seafood and vegetables on-the-spot.
Prior to setting up shop in Macao, Tenmasa earned its reputation as an authority in tempura and has enjoyed decades of prosperity in Japan, gaining the trust of former emperor Hirohito. Before a tempura chef is qualified to even touch the frying counter, he or she has to undergo at least ten years of training in Japan. The high standards for quality is implemented on all areas of food preparation: The salt, water and cottonseed oil used in the process are all imported from Japan, while live seafood is shipped over four times a week. Order from the a la carte menu's tempura section to get items fried on the spot. The sashimi platters, exquisitely arranged on a layer of petals and pine leaves, are an impeccable dish to start off the journey of your tastebuds.
An extensive sake list is available at different price ranges, though more sake-by-the-cup options would be a welcome improvement. The chilled Rihaku Caro rose sake is earthy but not overly dry.
The diligent and attentive staff deserves serious praise. They are able to contribute background knowledge on dishes and useful pairing suggestions at the drop of a hat.
Dinner costs about MOP1,000 with sake — a fair price given the restaurant's consistently high quality.