Looking at Wisma Central‘s dilapidated condition, it’s surprising to find any restaurants that are still in business inside the mall. Tenka Daiichi, a casual Japanese restaurant happens to be one of them. If we did not set out to have dinner here, we would have assumed that the place has closed down.
The restaurant’s dingy and uninviting frontage and the mall’s dimly lit corridors certainly did not help to alleviate that thought too. For those reasons, Tenka Daiichi perfectly fits the description of a hole in the wall.
There’s nothing elaborate on the menu so don’t expect any premium sashimi or sushi that you’d find at the usual Japanese joints. Instead, Tenka Daiichi offers a range of inexpensive and honest food such as ramen, gyoza, homecooked style dishes and a handful of Okinawan fare.
Ramen is their signature item, so it’s a must try. I had the Tenka Pork Soup Ramen @ RM17.90 and it exceeded my initial expectations with its robust tasting soup. It might not be mind-blowingly delicious but it’s definitely good enough to satisfy your ramen cravings.
The chashu and pork belly were wonderful too but the portions are a tad small. Anyway, can’t really complain for the price.
Unfortunately, things started to go downhill. The Grilled Squid @ RM15 was overcooked to almost a crunchy state.
The Grilled Mackerel Fish Set @ RM16.50 is inarguably affordable but the main dish, the grilled fish itself left a lot to be desired. It was dry and only edible at best.
Then came the savior of the meal, Stewed Pork Legs @ RM20. Although the broth looks light, it was actually quite flavorful, nicely seasoned (not too salty, can be enjoyed on its own) and spiced with a subtle hint of ginger.
Ultimately, the food quality and price are not the deciding factors when considering whether to eat here. I think you should be more concerned about the hygiene instead.
As far as Japanese restaurants go, Tenka Daiichi’s standard of cleanliness leaves a great deal to be desired and we witnessed a lot of questionable stuff. So this is 110% not the place to bring a date you are planning on to impress. But hey, that doesn’t seem to bother the Japanese expats from eating here – which is kinda weird considering they have a reputation for cleanliness.
1.25, Wisma Central
Jalan Ampang, 50450 KL
Tel: 03-2163 2317 / 017-322 1331
Business hours: Mon – Fri (11.30am – 3.30pm, 6pm – 10pm), Sat (6pm – 10pm), Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday