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— by Casey Baseel: Its founder started out with a street-side food stall in Japan’s samurai era, and his restaurant is still serving customers in Tokyo today.

One of the unique aspects of the Japanese culinary world is the prevalence of senmonten, or specialized restaurants. Senmonten focus on one specific kind of dish, with the logic being that the intense devotion and deep experience their chefs acquire will translate into a transcendentally delicious meal.

For example, the senmonten Sansada just makes tempura, and that’s a practice that it’s been carrying on not just for the careers of its current cooking staff, but for generations. Sansada is said to be the oldest tempura restaurant in all of Japan, having been founded all the way back in 1837, the third year of the Tenpo era, when Japan was still ruled by a shogun and samurai walked the streets of Edo, which wasn’t yet called Tokyo…

July 3, 2019