Talk about tonkatsu in Tokyo and everyone has their favourites. Some like it casual and fuss-free, some like it more elaborate with a myriad of cuts to choose from.
For us, a good tonkatsu meal can be both (depending on the amount of time we have for that day) but some memories stay in our hearts for always—that is a good meal at Butagumi. We’ve tried numerous tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo and the experience at Butagumi is one that never fails, no matter which time of the year we visit.
It is also little wonder why this restaurant is often at the top of mind among both locals and visitors to Tokyo, for their dedication to tonkatsu is definitely a notch higher than your regular tonkatsu restaurants.
By luck, we stumbled upon Katsukichi Botaijyu Tonkatsu in Shibuya, and it turned out to be a gem!
The restaurant is located in the basement. The wooden stairs will lead you to a very traditional and cosy-looking space that will instantly give you a good feel about your meal.
In short, tonkatsu is a Japanese-style pork chop or cutlet and we are always up for a good tonkatsu meal. There are several outlets in Tokyo but here’s sharing our experience from the Shibuya one.
Torikatsu Chicken might just be your best find in Shibuya, Tokyo.
The nondescript katsu restaurant is our newest favourite katsu place in Tokyo, and it was by no means “stumbled upon”. It is one of those super hidden joint that wouldn’t simply “appear in front of you”. You have to know about it to find it, and finding it on its own is a challenge; we’d like to think of that as part of the experience.
Torikatsu Chicken redefines ‘hidden gem’ altogether, and its very affordable katsu sets—starting from ¥650 or S$8—make it all too appealing. We are so going back to Torikatsu Chicken every time we are in Tokyo.
A good tonkatsu is one that is deep-fried to golden brown, and texturised with crumbs, with the layers of meat intricate yet not overly oily, and is so good on its own that you might have forgotten it has other accompanying sauces like mustard and the sweet tonkatsu sauce. The meal is completed with miso soup, pickles, a huge pile of cabbage, and hot steaming rice.
Besides tonkatsu, there are variations such as Katsudon, pork cutlet with egg and onions on rice; Katsu Sandon, a tonkatsu sandwich; and Katsu-Kare, tonkatsu drizzled with Japanese curry. No matter which version, tonkatsu ranks as one of Japan’s favourite comfort food.
Which is the best tonkatsu in Tokyo? This is a constant debate among travellers and locals as the city has no shortage of good tonkatsuya. When we were in Tokyo recently, we went on a quest to find our favourite tonkatsu, and this is a list of the best Tonkatsu Restaurants in Tokyo.
It is no secret that I love tonkatsu. Sushi and sashimi are great, but if I had to choose, I would go for tonkatsu anytime. So when I was in Tokyo last year, I made it my mission to find the best tonkatsu in the city.
There are many famous tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo, but the place that everyone seems to agree is the best place to head to is Maisen Tonkatsu. They have many outlets in Tokyo, but go to the main shop in Aoyama – just a few blocks behind Omotesando Hills. The restaurant is located in a former World War II public bathhouse, which adds to the whole feel of dining there.