- 2 min read


Tonkatsu Bourdain might have loved

If you are looking for a Bourdain-type off the beaten track, hole in the wall, privately owned restaurant run by an elderly couple who have been making the same meals for 50 years, Katsuya is not it. Katsuya is the exact opposite: a chain restaurant with over 300 branches around Japan. What it lacks for in distinctness, it makes up for with consistent high quality every time.

Tonkatsu is one of the most popular meals in Japan. The star of the show is a pork cutlet coated with flour and egg and panko (breadcrumbs) and deep fried to a crisp. Often served with a side of freshly shredded cabbage, Worcestershire-like sauce, or in the case of katsudon, the deep-fried pork cutlets are topped over rice with a sweet-salty egg and dashi sauce and trefoil leaves for color.

When Katsuya opened a branch in our area, four of their most popular meals were priced at ¥500 for the first 3 days of their operation. We went there on the first day and I ordered tonkatsu on a bed of curry and rice (regular price ¥790). It was a heavy meal, no doubt, but it was so good, we contemplated going back on the 3rd day of the promo price.

Unlike my homemade tonkatsu, Katsuya uses nama panko, real bread crumbs made from freshly crumbled bread. The stuff sold in the supermarket which I use for convenience is really made from plain flour and artificial flavors. Real bread crumbs are difficult to make but taste infinitely better and absorb less oil, which means the tonkatsu remains crispy longer. If sauces are drizzled, they are better absorbed.

No matter what branch you go to, Katsuya serves pork cutlets that are consistenly crisp outside and moist, tender, tasty inside every single time. It is comfort food that is messy to prepare in my own kitchen and which I'm happy to eat out for.

Katsuya might be very un-Bourdain, but then again, I might be wrong. He sang the praises of Lawson's egg salad sandwich, so who knows, he might rave about Katsuya's tonkatsu too.

Getting there

Katsuya has hundreds of branches all over Japan, most of them conveniently located near train stations and along main roads. This branch that opened just last June 28, 2019 is near Komagawa Station along the JR Hachiko Line.

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Join the discussion

Kim 4 years ago
Comfort food...the best!
Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
Absolutely agree.
Lynda Hogan 4 years ago
One coin dishes are the best when you can find them. But even the full price of 790 yen seems quite reasonable.
Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
It is quite reasonable, right? I always wondered about the relative cheapness of Japanese food. Elsewhere it is considered high end pricing but with a 126 million people in the space of my backyard, offering food at low prices probably isn't all that difficult...

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.