Tenkaichi Restaurant Wagyu Beef Buffet Review

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Recently I visited Tenkaichi for a wagyu beef buffet with my army buddy James Cheng. My sister had given me a Groupon for my birthday, so I used the Good Friday holiday to indulge in some excessive eating while catching up with a good friend. Thanks sis!

It was my first time eating at this restaurant and aside from visiting Tenkaichi’s website to look for directions, I did not perform any research beforehand.

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The wagyu beef BBQ buffet has a ‘usual price’ of $98 that is discounted to $54.90 per pax for lunch, and $59.90 for dinner.

This gets you an ala carte buffet experience replete with sashimi and grill-it-yourself meats including chicken, sausage, pork, seafood and the marque item – wagyu beef.

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The wagyu sirloin is so nice…

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…that I ordered it twice!

The wagyu beef is served in four different ways – beef belly, beef sirloin and wagyu sashimi and wagyu yukke.

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This photo makes me hungry.

All meats are pre-marinated and ready to grill. As such, the staff informed me that the grills do not require any oil. I was quite surprised that James and I left the restaurant without the oily, smoky smell I usually get from Korean BBQ buffets.

Quite a remarkable feat considering how much food we grilled.

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This photo makes me hungrier.

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Kindly note that because James does not eat beef, the below-listed bovine items were devoured by yours truly. We shared the other non-beef items.

What we ate:
Wagyu Karubi (Japan Beef Belly)
Wagyu Rosu ( Japan Beef Sirloin) – Two Servings
Nakaochi Karubi (Japan Beef Rib Finger)
Buta Rosu ( Pork Loin)
Buta Karubi (Pork Belly)
Tori Momo (Boneless Chicken)
Sausage Moriawase (Assorted Sausage)
Shake (Salmon)
Shake Sashimi (Salmon Sashimi)

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I’m pretty sure James spent that night howling at the moon, or doing whatever it is that Werebears do. Perhaps he went to the forest to sing a rousing rendition of “Bear Necessities”?

To my astonishment, James finished almost 50 slices of salmon sashimi single-handedly. We meant to order 15 slices of salmon sashimi, but we mistakenly ordered 15 servings instead. Understandably, the waitress was quite shocked by our request. But to her credit, she brought us our order unchallenged, unlike another buffet restaurant, which will remain unnamed, that James told me was unwilling to cede to a similar request.

I’m not a big fan of salmon or sashimi, so I only had two slices. But James must be a Werebear, because I have never seen anyone eat so much salmon in my life.

We tried grilling one of the slices of salmon sashimi, and it tasted really good too. It melted in my mouth.

Relax sashimi lovers. I won't offend your eyes with a photo of sashimi being grilled. These slices of salmon are meant to be grilled.

Relax sashimi lovers. I won’t offend your eyes with a photo of sashimi being grilled. These slices of salmon are meant to be grilled.

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There’s a variety of side dishes available on this counter.

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Fruits next to green tea noodles? Only in a Japanese buffet…

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To me, the most attractive item on this counter was the free flow of fluffy Japanese rice!

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Unlike James, I’m not a fan of Chawanmushi. 

Aside from the entrees, Tenkachi also offers a variety of side dishes and drinks. I ate a measly two bowls of rice and washed in down with some Mango/Peach Soja and Nestle white coffee on ice.

The pork was 'ok'.

The pork was ‘ok’.

I don’t profess to be an expert on beef, but I enjoyed both the food and the dining experience. I found the beef sirloin and chicken especially tasty. And even though I don’t like salmon, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed both the salmon sashimi and grilled salmon.

Honestly, the pork wasn't as sweet as I hoped.

Honestly, the pork wasn’t as sweet as I hoped.

The wagyu beef is not the best beef I’ve eaten by any account, but the quality is noticeably better compared to several Korean BBQs I have visited, and it is well-worth the $50++ price point.

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You are the weakest link!

The only weak link was the sausage (pun not intended). It was quite unremarkable and its blandness made it difficult to finish.

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Nestle white coffee. Peach tea. Lemonade. Soja. All my favourite drinks on one glorious counter.

What won me over about Tenkaichi were several of its smaller details. I loved the free flow of Soja and Nestle white coffee. Having my favourite beverages on tap is a huge bonus.

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They also have a selection of shochu, beer, wine and sake.

I also found the staff to be friendly and helpful. They displayed a great deal of initiative and without prompting, they changed our BBQ plate twice during our visit. And despite eating for 3 hours, I did not get the “wah, why you stay so long and eat so much” vibe I typically get from other buffet restaurants.

Tenkachi also offers Shabu Shabu and diners can also pay extra for an ice-cream buffet.

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The ice cream buffet looks a little sad, but I suppose you can’t complain too much when it only costs $5 extra per pax.

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Fun fact: I’ve never eaten shabu shabu before.

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The condiment counter offers a variety sauces for both BBQ and Shabu Shabu lovers.

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The view from our table. It’s cozy but the carpet and upholstery is uninspiring.

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Tenkachi’s interior is quiet and modestly decorated. The art is simple and there is no background music – focusing your attention on your food and company. I rather enjoyed this unpretentious and homely experience. And the friendly staff made it easy for James and myself to relax and chew the fat, both literally and metaphorically.

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If a laid-back, no frills wagyu buffet sounds good to you, you may become a fan of Tenkaichi. Ok, that pun was intended.

At the “usual price”, whatever that means, of $98++, Tenkachi is a bit hard to justify unless you are a voracious eater of the highest order. But at $54.90++, Tenkachi becomes a more attractive, laid-back alternative to hotel buffets sans the smoke and hole-in-the-wall aesthetics and cramped interior of budget Korean buffets.

Dedrick Koh

About Dedrick Koh

Dedrick Koh is a Social Media and Communications Specialist at Nanyang Polytechnic. He has a Bachelors (Murdoch) and Diploma (Ngee Ann Polytechnic) in Mass Communication. Dedrick is a communications professional and a highly skilled classical guitarist. As a communications professional, he has worked on brands like Coca Cola, DHL, Nokia, Nestle, the Health Promotion Board, the Economic Development Board of Singapore and the President Challenge. He gave private classical guitar during his polytechnic and undergraduate studies to put himself through school. He has succesfully prepared students for ABRSM and Trinity exams and was previously an instructor cum assistant conductor at Ngee Ann Polytechnic Strings under Alex Abisheganaden .