Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tale of Two Katsu

We had heard a lot of great things about Tonki, a restaurant in Meguro that specializes in tonkatsu, a breaded and fried pork cutlet that is very popular in Japan.  They don't use normal batter for the breading, but instead use something called panko, or Japanese bread crumbs. Tonki specializes in tonkatsu; they have been doing this for many many years, and the menu is streamlined into 'fatty' and 'lean' tonkatsu.

Dan and Kevin both decided that they wanted 'fatty' pork.  I decided to go with the 'lean' pork. Well, here is where language problems come in.  Dan ordered for us, and 20 minutes later, we are all sitting with our plates, eating our meat.  Halfway through dinner, the boys started complaining that their meat wasn't fatty enough.  Mine was okay, I said.  Dan took a glance at mine and was extremely jealous about my meat's fine marbling.  I gave him and Kevin a few pieces of mine, and they were so upset.  Turns out that Dan had ordered backwards!  Isn't that funny, I ended up with the fatty meat and they got the lean meat!  How ironic.  :)

Dan was very sad about it, but we all agreed that the katsu was still pretty good.  My favorite was the pork miso soup.  The cabbage was also perfectly shredded and dry, providing a good accompaniment to the pork.  Oh, and the mustard is my favorite -- so spicy!

Here is the assembly line.  We all sit around this 'kitchen' and watch them make and fry the pork.

This man has probably been doing this for 40+ years!

Here is our katsu!  The cabbage is perfect!
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  1. Great entry, Cathy! I miss Tonki so~ much! That restaurant is absolutely my favorite. I don't know this for sure, but I think some of those people cooking are brothers; after many years of going there, my family began to see their resemblances. Hope you enjoy more of Tokyo!

  2. You guys need to track down this one Japanese restaurant in the Narita International Airport that has like the best tonkatsu in the world. ^_^

    It's on the 2nd floor to the left of where the huge check-in area is for departures.

  3. I went to a tonkatsu place in a mall in Ropponggi Hills. That was awesome. But I'm sure you know better than me now!