Friday, April 26, 2013

Katsusen - the BEST pork restaurant in Tokyo - Japan trip 2013 part 5

I want to show you the best pork cutlet restaurant I have ever been to. It's worth devoting an entire post to this. And this restaurant is at an airport. (Don't let that deter you. Ever heard of Jiro Dreams of Sushi? That restaurant is in a subway station.)

HANEDA Airport, International Terminal
4F, EDO Market
Tel: 03-5708-7448
Hours: 10:00 – 23:00

I actually wrote a little about this place after my last trip, but not enough. Because we went back this time, and I realized that the amazing pork kattsu (cutlet) that I had last year was not a fluke. I am confident in saying, as someone who has eaten pork kattsu at plenty of restaurants reputed to be known for this dish, that this is at the very least one of the best pork kattsu restaurants in the world. (If you don't believe my recommendation, my wife - who is from Japan - says this place has ruined her for every other pork kattsu restaurant.)

The menu is obviously specialized in pork, and you can get different cuts of it. Honestly, they're all good - I've had the tenderloin and the "regular", I don't think you can go wrong with either. This place specializes in Berkshire pork, although they have standard Japanese pork as well.

The chef breads your pork right in front of you, using fresh bread crumbs the likes of which I have not previously seen. I believe they are freshly made, and they're quite large - almost more like crutons. (It's really these bread crumbs that separate this place from literally every other tonkatsu restaurant I've ever been to.) It's fun watching the chef work.

This is my pork frying in a wok full of hot oil.  Mmmmm, anticipation!

And the finished product. A very simple dish, but one of the most satisfying you will ever have. Just freshly breaded pork, deep fried; with rice, shredded cabbage, Japanese pickles and sauces. There is also a clam-infused miso soup that seems unique to this restaurant. Everything here tastes incredibly fresh, the meat melts in your mouth, and even the sauces taste like they've been made to order. Again, it's the texture of the fried bread crumbs that really makes this place the best of the best, though - the crust ends up being light and airy in a way that no other tonkatsu restaurant I've ever eaten at could match.

And here's the outside of the restaurant again, in case you need a reminder.

Haneda is worth the trip as a tourist for many different reasons, but be sure to stop here any time you go. I know I will.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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