Wednesday, August 10, 2011
TOKYO 2011: Katsukura @ Takashimaya Times Square
After an 8 hours flight, we finally arrived in Tokyo. Home to the most Michellin stars restaurants in the world. Our hotel is right smack in the middle of the ever busy Shinjuku district in Tokyo. Travelling is extremely convenient from JR (Japan Rail) Shinjuku.
It has been a few months since the tsunami-earthquake-nuclear disaster in Japan. Although the crisis is still not over for Japan, but life has almost resume to normal in Tokyo. JR trains are running, malls are opened, restaurants are serving. The only difference is that there is an ongoing power saving campaign going on in Tokyo, and sometimes it may get a bit too warm (or dark) in the summer months.
We didn't want to go too far out on our first day, so decided to stick to Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku for our early lunch. One of the best food streets with all the bentos and beautiful cookies and crackers are located at the basement of Takashimaya. On the upper floors, there are many restaurants to choose from.
We settled for Katsukura. Initially, we didn't know how well known (and well blogged) this restaurant was until we got back to Singapore. Apparently, this is one of the premium Tonkatsu restaurant in Japan, similar to how Tonkichi is in Singapore.
We were famished. So we ordered quite a lot of food from the menu. By the way, they have an English menu, but you have to ask for it.
We were served cups of refreshing rice tea.
Our appetizer was this cold tofu with miso jelly. Really cooling to have such a cold appetizer during the hot summer months.
We saw the Simmered Square Cut Pork (610 yen) and immediately we knew we had to order it. Generous cubes of tender fatty pork that has been simmered in Japanese soya sauce for hours. The meat is flavourful and tender. I love the sauce so much that I drizzled all of them over my rice.
My order of the Standard Katsu-Zen Set which comes with a fillet cutlet and Prawns (1,980 yen). Each order came with barley rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables. The pork is of high quality and Katsukura prides at how their pigs are reared and grown in Japan. They also use raw bread crumbs that becomes extra crispy after frying. The crisp and cold cabbage went well with their Citron dressing.
Worth mentioning is their special miso soup which came with the set. The miso soup is full of miso and pork flavours. I asked for refills of the soup because it was so good.
The barley rice was suppose to be special, but unfortunately I could not taste anything special about the rice.
We also had this Toen Pork Sirloin Cutlet set (2,700 yen for 170g). The pork is said to be of high quality cross bred pork. Indeed, the pork is tender, juicy and flavourful with a layer of fats. But next time, we will stick to ordering just the standard katsu set, which is more value for money.
(100 yen = S$1.50)
Takashimaya Times Square
5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku,
at 3:00 PM