Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tonki - Tonkatsu Restaurant

Tonkatsu, deep fried pork cutlet, is no doubt one of my favorite Japanese foods. Why, oh why, does fried food taste so delicious ? Tokyo offers lots of Tonkatsu restaurants. The most famous one is probably Wako, a nationwide chain Tonkatsu restaurant. However, when we talk about personal recommendation, there are two places I would recommend. One is Katsukura in Shiodome, and the other one is Tonki in Meguro.

Tonki is a family business Tonkatsu restaurant, probably one of the oldest. They only serve ヒレカツ (hire katsu = fillet cutlet), ロースカツ (roosu katsu = loin cutlet), and 串カツ (kushi katsu = meat skewered with onion). All comes with rice, miso soup, pickle, and cabbages. The meal cost around 1350 ~ 1800 Yen.

The most interesting about Tonki is the dining experience. I really suggest you to sit down on the counter on the 1st floor. It is basically an open kitchen where you can see them making the tonkatsu. It is similar to the one you see in a production line. One person dipping the pork, one frying the pork, one cutting the pork, one serving the rice, one handling the cabbage, etc. It's as if you're watching an efficient production system working here.

What about the food ? The skin is darker than normal tonkatsu, but it is crispy and tastes really good. You don't feel those oily taste you usually get after eating fried food. The meat is tender and delicious. However, it is not as good as other Tonkatsu restaurants such as Katsukura or Wako. The miso soup, although delicious and has a chunk of pork in it, is also not that satisfying. Their service on the other hand is the best.

Tonki only servers dinner and does not open on Tuesday. It is always crowded, so you might need to wait a little bit. The address is Shimo-Meguro 1-1-2. It is 5 minutes walk from Meguro Station.


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