Coated in egg and panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried to golden perfection, a good tonkatsu, served with Japanese rice and shredded cabbage, is one of the simplest pleasures in life and it sure hits the spot every time.
Here is our guide to the best tonkatsu restaurants and eateries in Singapore that everyone should check out when you are craving for tonkatsu.
Ginza Anzu—a farm-to-table concept eatery from Kyushu—is a tonkatsu specialist which features a remarkable range of katsu offerings on their menu.
We’ve been to Ginza Anzu many times over the last few years since they opened in Singapore, and truth to be told, we thought that Ginza Anzu’s regular pork loin katsu was too dry and lean and it lacked fats. Only their special Ginjo Pork Fatty Loin Katsu was outstanding. However, at S$38, it is not something that most people will order on a regular basis.
But on our latest visit, we had the Pork Loin Katsu Set (S$24 for medium) and the tender, moist and succulent pork loin katsu was sublime with the perfect fat to meat ratio.
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 one of the best, if not 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 that sees a massive cult following.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison’s Kurobuta Rosu Katsu set (S$33.80) is our top pick and you will never go wrong with it.
333A Orchard Road, #02-35 & #02-36
Tel: +65 6733 4541
The OG tonkatsu restaurant in Singapore, Tampopo sets the standard for tonkatsu in Singapore with its Japanese Kurobuta Pork and USA pork cutlets. This is our go-to place whenever we want a solid tonkatsu and you will never go wrong with their Top Grade BP Tonkatsu (S$31.80).
Tampopo’s thick, juicy, fatty and crispy pork loin lives up to all the hype. For something healthier, you can get the Less Fat BP Loin Cutlet Set. But hey, what’s the point of that?
391 Orchard Road, #B2-33,
Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6235 2318
Nearest Station: Orchard
HAJIME TONKATSU & RAMEN
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen over at myVillage in Serangoon Gardens is opened by Chef Tan-San, a seasoned tonkatsu specialist with over two decades of experience and the very same man that started Tampopo.
They have increased their prices, but it still remains reasonable for the quality of the katsu. Go for their premium Pork Loin (S$24.9) and you will not be disappointed.
Other katsu options include Nagoya Miso Fillet (S$21.5), Ebi Fry (S$20.5) and Chicken Katsu (S$18.9)
1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9
myVillage @ Serangoon Garden,
Tel: +65 6509 9952
Nestled in the food-driven enclave of East Coast Road, Katsuya is a hole-in-the-wall eatery where you can find top-notch tonkatsu offerings at affordable prices.
Here, diners can choose between pork loin (rosu) or pork fillet (hire) or seafood such as shrimp, oysters (kaki) or fish. 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
Kimukatsu—Japan’s Famous Mille-Feuille tonkatsu restaurant with outlets in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Sendai—has opened in Singapore at Takashimaya basement 2 food hall.
Kimukatsu is known for its tonkatsu which is made up of many thin layers of pork; think of it as a pork mille-feuille. Unlike the usual tonkatsu, Kimukatsu uses thinly-sliced pork and they are stacked into 25 layers. The layered cutlet is covered with fresh breadcrumbs and fried slowly in low temperature for 8 minutes.
In addition to the original tonkatsu, the other flavours are cheese, black pepper, Ume Shiso, garlic and Yuzu Kosho.
391A Orchard Rd, B2 Food Hall Takashimaya
Opened in November 2020, Maruhachi Donburi & Curry is a hawker stall that offers restaurant-quality tonkatsu at very affordable prices.
The chef-owner is Indonesian-born Singaporean PR August Wijaya, 38 who used to be the head chef of the now-defunct Ginza Bairin—the famous Tokyo-based tonkatsu restaurant at ION Orchard—for almost nine years.
The Tonkatsu set (S$11.80) comes with a pretty huge slab of tenderloin that is evenly breaded with panko and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. Premium Japanese rice is also used, and there is also a side of freshly-shredded cabbage. Honestly, we have nothing to pick on this straight-forward classic Tonkatsu set. And we would go back for it again and again.
They have opened 8 outlets across Singapore over the past two years and you can easily find a stall near your neighbourhood.
Maruhachi Donburi & Curry
671 Edgefield Plains, Singapore 821673
Tel: 9176 5750
With more than 500 outlets worldwide, Saboten is a popular tonkatsu chain that uses only selected grain and barley fed pigs.
Be spoilt for choice with their menu that features all sorts of breaded goodies from their signature Pork Loin Katsu Gozen to their Grated Radish Loin Katsu.
9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-14 Millenia Walk
Tel: 6837 3432
One of the more well-known tonkatsu restaurants in Singapore, Tonkichi has garnered many supporters over the years.
We have dined at Tonkichi over the years and the standards have dropped significantly. 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, still deserves a special mention. We had the Miyazaki Rosu Katsu which was juicy and tender, with the right proportion of fats.
Simply put, 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