What’s not to love about Japanese tonkatsu? It may not be the healthiest food option around but it sure hits the spot every time. We simply adore tonkatsu whether it’s stuffed with melty cheese, drenched in Japanese curry or simply on its own.
For the uninitiated, Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish which consists of meat that is breaded, deep-fried to golden perfection and usually served with rice and shredded cabbage. The most common tonkatsu is pork tonkatsu, with the fillet and the loin being popular cuts to choose from.
For the love of all things breaded and fried, that boasts a crunch and succulence like no other, here is our list of 10 best tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore.
HAJIME TONKATSU & RAMEN
Opened by Chef Tan-San, a seasoned tonkatsu specialist with over two decades of experience and the very same man that helmed the highly acclaimed Tampopo, Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen over at myVillage in Serangoon Gardens is where you can find authentic Japanese cuisine at really affordable prices.
Their ramen is decent by most standards, but the real star of the show is their tonkatsu that comes in a variety of options—be it pork, fish, ebi (prawn) and more!
1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9
myVillage @ Serangoon Garden,
Tel: +65 6509 9952
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Serangoon
Nestled in the food-driven enclave of East Coast Road, Katsuya is a small and cosy restaurant where you can find topnotch tonkatsu offerings.
Here, diners can choose between pork loin (rosu) or pork fillet (hire) or seafood such as shrimp, oysters (kaki) or fish. Rosu is a fattier cut of pork that is considerably more flavourful and texturally divine. Every order is made fresh so be prepared to wait but make no mistake that the wait will definitely be worth it.
85 East Coast Road,
Tel: +65 6344 8183
(Closed on Mondays)
Tue to Fri: 6pm – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Eunos
Katsudon Hanakatsu at Suntec City is opened by the same team behind the popular Tendon Kohaku. They specialise in Katsu Don and you can choose between the spicy and non-spicy alternatives.
The original HA-NA Katsudon features a generous portion of two types of meat—pork and chicken. Diners get well-marinated meat with a subtle taste of shoyu on top of warm Japanese rice. Those who prefer your dish with a spicy kick can opt for the HA-NA Katsudon Spicy Flavour instead that sees a generous sprinkling of chilli flakes.
#03-10 Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard
Tel: +65 6333 4386
Daily: 11.30am – 3.30pm, 5pm – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Promenade / Esplanade
Popular for its affordable, colossal-sized plates of katsu, rice and Japanese curry, Monster Curry is a hot favourite among the younger crowd.
Choose from a selection of combos that come with either chicken katsu, pork katsu, pork shabu-shabu, shrimp tempura or all of them together.
Let’s be clear: Monster Curry’s tonkatsu is nothing special. But it is something that we enjoy when we want a simple and fuss-free meal.
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-52 ION Orchard
Tel: +65 6509 4555
Daily: 11am – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
Where quality tonkatsu is concerned—the popular tonkatsu chain uses only selected grain and barley fed pigs—Saboten serves as a prime example that delicious tonkatsu need not necessarily come at a high price.
Be spoilt for choice with their menu that features all sorts of breaded goodies from their signature Breaded Pork Loin Katsu Gozen to their Curry Katsu Gozen.
80 Airport Boulevard, #031-004
Changi Airport Terminal 1,
Tel: +65 6214 9504
Daily: 10.30am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Changi Airport
One of the first few tonkatsu joints to introduce Kurobuta (black pig) in their tonkatsu, Tampopo sets the standard for not only tonkatsu but Japanese fare as a whole.
Here is where diners can tuck into their signature Black Pig Tonkatsu and it ranges from Top Grade BP Tonkatsu (a la carte – S$27.90, set – S$31.80) to BP Loin Tonkatsu Set (a la carte – S$22.80, set – S$26.90) and Less Fat BP Loin Cutlet (a la carte – S$22.80, set – S$26.80).
391 Orchard Road, #B2-33,
Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6235 2318
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
Ginza Anzu—a farm-to-table concept eatery from Kyushu—is famous for their authentic Tonkatsu. Be prepared to stuff yourselves silly with their incredible range of tonkatsu offerings.
You have to try their Thick Pork Loin Katsu that features strips of tender, succulent pork that boast an unbelievable crunch.
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-113/114
Tel: +65 6977 9815
TONKATSU BY MA MAISON
As far as real-deal Japanese tonkatsu is concerned, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison over at Mandarin Gallery is hands down, one of the best tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore.
Besides the usual crispy-breaded-pork-with-rice combination, they also have a vast repertoire of innovative tonkatsu dishes such as their Mille Feuille Truffle Katsu (S$26++) that sees a massive cult following.
333A Orchard Road, #02-35 & #02-36
Tel: +65 6733 4541
Mon to Fri: 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Somerset
Tonkichi is one of the more well-known tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore and it has garnered many supporters over the years.
We’ve been dining at Tonkichi over the years and we felt that the standards have dropped quite a bit. The basic tonkatsu sets are just run-of-the-mill and nothing to shout about. The Premium Rosu Katsu (S$32), on the other hand, was quite something else. We had the MIyazaki Rosu Katsu which was juicy and tender, with the right proportion of fats.
In our opinion, there are much better tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore unless you are willing to splurge on the premium cuts. Nonetheless, we have included Tonkichi in our guide to tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore because there are many people who still patronise Tonkichi and swear by their tonkatsu.
350 Orchard Road
4F Shaw House
Tel: +65 6835 4648
Mon to Thu: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
Fri to Sun: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Orchard