勝漫 (Katsuman)

This tonkatsu place is only a block away from Tonkatsu Yamaichi(The nearest station is Awajicho but it’s less than 10 mins walk from Akihabara). The chef of Yamaichi used to work here so the style are quite similar. Katsuman is a bit more expensive than Yamaichi for the same menu but the portion is also bigger. I find the crust of the tonkatsu much lighter and more delicately fried in Yamaichi, but Katsuman is more generous with the portion and the ingredients. Both are very good tonkatsu restaurants.
大かつ丼、¥1600。 帆立のクリームコロッケ、¥1500。
Large Katsu-kon, Y1600. It only comes in large size, but you can ask for less rice. It’s nice but I prefer Yamaichi’s Katsudon.
Scallop cream croquette, Y1500. The croquettes are massive and there are generous amount of scallop chunks inside(such that the crust can barely hold up the stuffing ^^;;). I like it more than Yamaichi’s version.
Left pic: Special pork filet cutlet(Toku-hire), Y2300.
Right pic: Regular pork filet cutlet(Hire), Y1800.
Both Hire are not as good as Yamaichi.
Left pic: Special pork loin cutlet(Toku-rousu), Y2100.
Right pic: Regular pork loin cutlet(Rousu), Y1500. Extra order: Scallop croquette, Y400.
Rousu are, on the other hand, better than Yamaichi. Very juicy and has right amount of fat.
There is a side menu from which you can order from one piece.
串かつ、¥1400。 メンチかつ、¥1000。
Skewered pork and vegetable katsu, Y1400. About the same quality as Yamaichi.
Menchi-Katsu, Y1000. More meat than Yamaichi…and nicer!
Menu(J): 1, 2.

Add: 1-6-1 Sudachou, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-3256-5504

とんかつ やまいち(Tonkatsu Yamaichi)

Special pork filet cutlet(Toku-hire), Y2100.

I love this tonkatsu place! Very small hole-in-the-wall restaurant with only a big round table for 8(need to share with strangers), a small table for 2, and 4 counter seats. The nearest station is Awajicho but it’s not far to walk from Akihabara. I’ve only been here for lunch and it is usually packed especially on Saturday, but there is no crazy lines. The chef fries everything himself behind the counter so during busy lunch hour, you may have to wait for some 15-20 mins. Watching the chef at his work with a very serious expression will make you patient though. The staff(chef’s wife and daughters?) are very friendly, and no matter how busy the chef is, he will always say thank you when you leave. Just love this sincere attitude of Japanese.

Anyway, the most expensive menu is Toku-hire but I think it really is the best. The meat is lean but soft and tender. The set comes with rice(refillable), soup and pickled vegetables.
Special pork loin cutlet(Toku-rousu), Y2000.
Regular pork loin cutlet(Rousu), Y1500.
Toku-rousu is much nicer than Rousu so I think it is worth the Y500 difference, but Toku-rousu is not as good as Toku-hire. There is more fat in Rousu than in Hire and normally I will prefer the former because I like fat….but this place is an exception.
ヒレかつ丼、¥1700。 合びきメンチ、¥1000。
Hire Katsu-don, Y1700. Menchi-katsu, Y1000.
カキフライ、¥1400。 車えびフライ(3本)、¥1900。
Kaki-fry(fried oyster), Y1400. Kuruma-ebi fry(3 pcs), Y1900.
Ebi-Shinjou-age(fried chopped prawn), Y1400.
Scallop croquette(cream inside), Y1400. Skewered pork and vegetable katsu, Y1300.
Rousu Katsu-don, Y1600. Love the katsu-don here.
You can order all the katsu by one piece. I ordered one kaki-fry(Y250), one bite-size Hire-katsu(Y250), one Ebi-shinjou(Y250) and one half-size menchi-katsu(Y300). For 400yen you can make it a set with rice and soup. Good idea if you want to try a bit of everything.

Menu(J) 1, 2.

とんかつ やまいち(Tonkatsu Yamaichi)
Add: 1-8-4, Sudacho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-3253-3335

Ponta Honke (ぽん多本家)

0901150039(Jan 15 2009)
I think this is the most expensive fried oyster set I ever tried. 3150yen including rice and soup. The oysters are MASSIVE and there are six of them, all perfectly fried and undeniably delicious….


0805220002 (May 22 2008)
Took a friend to try this super expensive but also super delicious tonkatsu place. Had the standard “Katsu-retsu”. Also tried the “Anago Fry” for the first time – 3675yen is crazy(rice and miso soup not included) but they give you two big pieces and damn they just taste so good that you don’t regret paying(though I didn’t have to pay at the end hohoho).

0709110009(Sep 11 2007)
Couldn’t resist and went back to try “Ebi korokke”, i.e. Prawn croquette. With rice and miso soup, it is 3150yen also. Very expensive…but it is so delicious! Inside the perfectly-fried crust are corn cream and big chunks of prawns. Only two croquettes but they are quite big. Though I think the pork cutlet is of better value.

(Aug 09 2007)
Yoshoku restaurant established since 1905. I was a bit dazed when I saw the menu…a salad is 1050yen, deep-fried seafood is 3000~4000yen, cow tongue stew is 4200yen…good thing my target was katsu-retsu(i.e. tonkatsu) which is an affordable(relatively speaking) 2625yen. Rice and soup and pickles are an additional 525yen. Seriously, it never cease to amaze me how yoshoku sometimes can be so expensive and yet many people are so willing to pay. I mean you can have a full course French lunch with that amount of money. Anyway, the cutlet turned out to be quite delicious. ^^;;; Coating is thick but crispy. Apparently thick and floury coating is the traditional style for deep-fried things in Japan. I guess people in the past didn’t worry so much about calories. The pork is fried twice, first very slowly in low heat oil, and then a quick finish in very hot oil. It did take a long time for it to come. The pork is a thick huge piece, has very little fat, soft and tender, feels a bit sandy in the mouth and not the juicy kind but I like it a lot. Didn’t feel ill afterwards but apparently it is fried in lard….There is only a bottle of sauce on the table which I reckon is for the cutlet but I prefer eating it just with salt and mustard. Oh, I sat in the counter(only 4 seats) on the first floor and there was only a salaryman eating alone. He was drinking wine and eating a plate of something, and I overheard his bill was over 13,000yen…^^;; I found an English review here.

Menu(J) 1, 2.

ぽん多本家 (Ponta Honke)
Add: 3-23-3 Ueno, Taito-ku
Tel: 03-3831-2351

かつ吉 水道橋店 (Katsu Kichi Suidoubashi)

A favourite lunch spot near Tokyo Dome. Lunch includes salad, plain rice or rice with green shiso(aojiso), miso soup – all refillable. Other than the yuzu soy sauce dressing on the table, you can ask for other flavours: 1) sesame, 2) onion, 3) umejiso(sour plum shiso) and mayonnaise. Dressing menu here.
焼肉丼、¥1100。 盛り合わせフライ定食(串・海老かつ)、¥1500。
Yakiniku rice bowl. Pork is stir-fried with onion.
Assorted fry: Kushi-katsu(kushi means skewer) with pumpkin, shishitou pepper, onion and pork. and Ebi-katsu(prawn chopped and deep-fried).
Chicken and leek rice bowl. Grilled chicken with ginger soy sauce.
Grilled pork loin with ginger soy sauce. Fried chicken with grated raddish and ponzu.
Yanagigawa style katsu-don. Fried pork with tororo(grated mountain yam) in soup.
Ganso katsu-don. Fried pork with egg.
海の幸フライ定食(海老かつ、白身魚フライ)、¥1300。 とんかつ ロース、¥2100。
Assorted fry: Ebi-katsu and fried fish.
Tonkatsu(2100yen) from the regular menu. Hmm I think the lunch menu has better value for money. (Lunch menu for each month can be found in this page.)

This is a sister restaurant of Bodaiju(entry here) and is in the same location. The menu is quite similar but I really like the non-deep-fried menu in Katsu Kichi. At lunch time, Katsu Kichi is non-smoking which is great, despite the fact that there is this old furniture smell, probably from the wooden decor, that always takes a few mins getting used to. Service is good in both places.

かつ吉 水道橋店 (Katsu Kichi Suidoubashi)
Add: B1, 1-4-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku
Tel: 03-3812-6268

菩提樹 (Bodaiju)

A yoshoku/tonkatsu place located next to Tokyo dome and kourakuen amusement park. Very spacious with forest-ish wooden decor(in a theme park sort of way).
Pickles. A massive bowl of salad. Other than the yuzu and soy sauce dressing on the table, there are three types of salad dressing(menu) you can request for free: sesame seed and miso, grated vegetables, sour plum shiso and mayonnaise. I like sesame seed one the most.

“Black-haired” wagyu hamburger steak set, 2100yen. Also came with beansprout. The waiter rolled out the huge hotplate on a wagon, poured the demi-glace sauce and cut the hamburger in front of you. Rice is mixed with green shiso(aojiso). Salad, rice and miso soup are all refillable.

Wagyu hamburger, crab cream croquette and fried prawn.
Special katsu(cutlet) curry. Curry sauce is a bit salty but the pork loin katsu is nice.
Beef steak is soft and tender, very good!
Minced pork katsu is delicious!
Donburi with pork katsu, tororo(grated yam), pickled veggy. All the ingredients are seasoned so the salt content sort of adds up and overall a bit salty.
Donburi with prawn katsu, veggy and half-cooked egg. The prawn katsu is very good.
Pork hambuger(with grated radish topping) actually tastes better than the more expensive beef hamburger.

Donburi with pork katsu in a hot stone pot. The staff pours the soup to the katsu(also udon at the bottom) and you add the raw egg and seaweed yourself. Choose it only if you like katsu soaked in soup…
Assorted fry: Kushi-katsu(kushi means skewer) with pumpkin, shishitou pepper, onion and pork. Crab cream croquette.

Overall the food is good. Service very friendly. Opens on Sunday and holidays. Only thing is there is no non-smoking seats. The sister restaurant Katsu Kichi next door is non-smoking at lunch time and the menu is similar.

菩提樹 (Bodaiju)
Add: 1-14-3, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku
Tel: 03-3818-1020

いもや (Imoya)

060309 005060309 008
Tonkatsu lunch. The pork is thick and juicy. THe coating is not too thick. Very cheap for the quality. No wonder there is always a queue at lunch time. Customers are all guys. Counter seats only. Kinda scary that there is no conversation inside at all – the master makes the tonkatsu quickly and quietly, while the customers eat quickly and quietly….^^;;

蓬莱屋 (Houraiya)

060331 016.jpgヒレカツ。Pork cutlet lunch. Quite famous place, very packed with businessmen and elderly…I must have been an unlikely customer cos the chef kept staring at me even before I started taking out my camera(^^;). I knew this place is not cheap but I expected they have cheaper lunch sets…unfortunately they don’t. The standard price is 2900yen(ouch…). And the pork was quite hard and not very juicy….hmm. The chef seems to know everybody, saying “Oh long time no see” to an ojisan, and “Is your mother genki?” to the young salaryman sitting next to me. ^^;;