Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eating in Tokyo: My favourite Pork Katsu: Katsukura

with SYT in Tokyo



I love katsu...especially pork loin from a good cut of kurobuta, breaded, deep fried to perfection...leaving a crisp, crunchy exterior with sharp bits which disintegrate on each bite, and provides the mind with endless entertainment trying to distinguish the crispiness...and soft, tender pork with a layer of fat within...flavourful, joyful, beautiful.

So when in Tokyo, I always make a trip to Katsukura...a chain store...no doubt, but serves exemplary katsu. From the original store in Kyoto, Katsukura has grown into a chain of more than 30 stores nationwide, and I think is probably related to the one store in Singapore at Ngee Ann City. I have eaten at the Ngee Ann City store, but the taste, textures and experience is nowhere similar to the Shiodome one I frequent.

They serve the katsu with a huge, refillable serving of hand cut cabbage, and barley rice.



The bread crumbs are specially selected...to provide crisp, light taste. When placed on a piece of rice paper, the katsu left little oil stains.

The pork is offered in two grades, one regular and and the special grade is a kurobuta from Yonezawa prefecture. Two different cuts are offered...a leaner fillet and a fatter, more flavourful loin. And each tonkatsu was offered in 3 sizes - 70g, 120g, 180g.

Of course I had to have the special grade...tonkatsu at its best, IMHO:



Eaten with a special sauce made from soy sauce, red wine, apples and date palm...mixed in-situ with a mortar and pestle, completes the taste...provides tang and tartness to the rich flavour of the pork.



We also shared a serving of fried prawns...five large prawns, cut Japanese style so they don't curl on themselves, breaded in the same superior batter as with the tonkatsu, and deep fried similarly...



The prawns were fleshy, and very tasty. A hint of the sea was present, and the meat was crunchy, sweet and rich. Excellent.

Easy to find, the shop is in the ANA building, and right next to a Singapore Chicken Rice restaurant.



Katsukura
Shiodome / Tonkatsu
Higashi-Shimbashi 1-5-2, Shiodome City Center B1F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
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