Finally…Eating Tonkatsu!


I was right about to leave Japan and one meal had escaped me, Tonkatsu. I don’t mean Tonkotsu or Menchi-Katsu, Ton-muthafucking-KATSU! This is the Japanese food I grew up eating, specifically in Hawaii at Hifume Restaurant (No longer there). Every bite of Tonkatsu I have takes me back to those dinners with my family in Hawaii. Some people don’t give a fuck about their first taste, bite or memory, but you undoubtedly have food memories when you eat, whether it’s remembering a taste from the past and comparing it with a new taste or others.


My first taste of “Katsu” in Japan was with Menchi-Katsu which was a messed up order because that shit happens when you talk with pictures. I thought I was getting Tonkatsu, pork, breaded and deep-fried, but I wasn’t. While in Kyoto I’ve heard of a great restaurant that specializes in Tonkatsu, Katsukura in the Cube Shopping Center at the Kyoto Train Station. I had an hour to kill before my train to the airport and I checked it out.


Katsukura is one of those restaurants where your parents take you on the weekends, you are celebrating something, or you want to splurge while you’re waiting for the train. This ain’t really a restaurant you go to during lunch. I didn’t look at a menu, I asked for “Tonkatsu” and said it politely and multiple times. The waitress eventually made a gesture for big or small order and I went with the medium order. Tourist asshole.


When the food came, like most Katsu, you’ll have a metal grill holding the Katsu so it can cool down and dry as it just came out of the deep-fryer. The rice was good, the sauces were interesting. The sauces were interesting because there’s a spicy mustard that’s used, then the Katsu sauce. I really wasn’t familiar with the mustard, but it was a nice touch. The miso was fucking awesome as it was miso soup with little clams, but the Tonkatsu, sick. When you bite into it, the meat is a little light red or beige, but the strands of meat look like pulled pork, not like compressed meat. You could probably peel the strands of the meat off, one by one. I bet they tenderize the meat a ton, as it was so fucking juicy. This is one of those meals that you’re confused how they do it.

Theory – the color looks like it has been marinated and I’m guessing there’s been some serious tenderizing, likely with booze or some acidic agent.

Wherever you’re at in Japan, the Katsu is just much better than anywhere in the world. U.S. kills the burger game like no other, and Japan kills the Katsu game (And many others).

Source: Katsukura

Follow us on Twitter at @dapperguide or Like us on Facebook