Japan, 〒604-8205 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Ishibashichō (Sanjōdōri), 三条通寺町東入石橋町16 | website | map |
Is there anything more glorious than Tonkatsu? (insert thinking face emoji), if you can think of anything better please let us know so we can get it in our face immediately. This was our first trip to Japan so we were excited to experience the porky crispy deliciousness that is Tonkatsu. Katsukura has to be the top of the recommended katsu list in Kyoto so we knew we had to check it out.
Kastukura was my favourite place we ate at in Japan, and that’s a pretty bold statement as nearly everywhere we visited was top class. One of the reasons being that the restaurant was beautifully lit and welcoming. You walk down a little path to get to Katsukura and you instantly feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We had ordered our Japanese standard: Beer for Su and Highball for Paul. Both were great but then again you can’t really go wrong with these two. For those of you not in the know, a highball is a whisky soda. They also serve a roasted tea on arrival which is a delicious change from the normal tea you get at most places in Japan.
When you sit at your table you are greeted by lots of little jars fully of sauces and pickles. That’s what I love about Japan – they are really on top of their condiment game. They have two types of tonkatsu sauce, a yuzu dressing for the cabbage, and pickles.
There’s also a bowl of sesame seeds that you grind yourself, before adding your prefered sauce to make your own tonkatsu dip. Little personal touches like this are what makes sets Katsukura apart from other places we visited.
Now on to the main event, the tonkatsu. You can choose the type of pork, weight, and cut – loin or tenderloin. Paul went for the Sangen Pork Loin 160g (2000¥) and I ordered the standard tenderloin 160g (1760¥). We also ordered sides of yuba and creamy crab croquette (both around 500-600¥), because you can never have enough fried things.
The tonkatsu at Katsukura is the stuff dreams are made of. I have never had a tonkatsu that melted in the mouth quite like this one, and the coating was just so, so crispy. I love how tonkatsu in Japan is always served with shredded lettuce so that you never feel like it’s too heavy. Katsukura brings this dish to another level by pairing sauces that are the perfect balance of sweet and sharp to compliment the fried pork. Although we liked the croquettes they were pretty average compared to the tonkatsu, next time we’ll just order more pork! The dish was also served with barley rice and miso soup which are both refillable. Paul didn’t really like the miso soup as it didn’t have a strong miso flavour. However, I really liked the soup because it was packed full of vegetables and the more subtle taste let the pork, which is the star of the show, shine.
Katsukura was one of my favourite places we visited in Japan. Not only was the food top quality but the service and ambience of the restaurant really made it a special night out. If you love pork like us and are in Kyoto, Katsukura is a must visit.