Translated by GonzalezLaura
Crispy Tonkatsu at Kuramae's Famous "Sugita"
Written by yohei matsui
"Tonkatsu", a dish long-loved by Japanese. Here we'll be introducing "Sugita", a famous tonkatsu shop, to get foreign travelers to understand tonkatsu's appeal.
If you're talking Japanese national dishes, of course everybody brings up sushi, tempura, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, and other like dishes. Aren't we forgetting another important dish though? That's right, Tonkatsu.
With a crispy outside, and its juicy inside, we would love for foreign travelers to experience "tonkatsu". With that in mind, this time around we'd like to recommend "Sugita", a restaurant well known for its orthodox tonkatsu.
"Sugita": A Well-Known Shop Loved by its Patrons
Located 6 minutes from the Toei Asakusa Line Kuramae Station, "Sugita" can be found in Kuramae, a town with an old-fashioned looking town scape. Having been established 38 years ago, the restaurant is currently run by it's 2nd owner. As this store has a bit of history, it seems that local patrons often come to this shop.
This is the menu. The owner's recommendation is the "Pork Loin Cultet" (2100 yen).
Ordering "Rice" (300 yen), and "Pork Miso Soup" (200 yen) to go with the pork loin cutlet really help take the tonkatsu to the next level.
As there has been an increase in foreign visitors, there are now also now multi-lingual menus available.
Upon entering the store, there is a nice looking wooden counter. The wood's crisp, soft feel helps to give the shop interior a more refined atmosphere.
If you go to the back, you'll find a tatami room. This room seats up to 6 people, so those brining along their families need not worry about spacing.
Geeting to See the Cook's Skills Before Your Very Eyes
Cooking tonkatsu is extremely simple. Because it's so simple then, is the reason why you want a cook that's not going to cut corners. In "Sugita", from the counter seats, you can take a look at the chef's skill with your own eyes.
First, he takes a thick slice of pork meat and covers it with egg, flour, and panko (Japanese bread crumbs).
Next, he fries the pork meat in some oil. In "Sugita", they use pans that are good at conducting heat, so the meat will be cooked evenly. On top of that, they also fry the pork thrice, starting from high-heat oil to low-heat oil; this leaves the outside crispy, while the inside remains juicy.
The tonkatsu makes a nice sizzling sound, and then its done.
They then cut the fried tonkatsu. You can almost hear the crunch as the knife goes into the pork.
This is the finished tonkatsu.
Have Your Tonkatsu With Some Signature Sauce and Japanese Mustard Too
As the tonkatsu itself doesn't have any kind of flavoring, we took the liberty of putting on some "signature sauce", as well as Japanese mustard.
If you're looking to enjoy the meat as it is, you can sprinkle on some salt and enjoy it just as it is.
We hurry to pour on the signature sauce. This well blended sauce's distinctive feature it's tangy, refreshing aftertaste.
On top of that, we add the mildly spicy Japanese mustard, and then down the hatch.
As the outer layer is thin, you can savor the flavor of the meat, and the sweetness of the fat directly on your tongue. The signature sauce and Japanese mustard really help to bring out the flavor of the meat, while leaving a savory taste in your mouth.
Try Some Orthodox Tonkatsu, Made by the Second-Generation Tonkatsu Shop Owner
Recently in Japan, there's been an increase in the number of chain stores where you can buy tonkatsu on the cheap. But, you've come all the way to Japan, might as well dig into some time-honored, real deal tonkatsu. So how about trying some tonkatsu made by a second generation, tonkatsu stickler?
Address: 3-8-3 Kotobuki, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to
Business Hours: 11:30-14:00; 17:00-20:15
Regular Holidays: Thursday
Multi-language Menus: Available
Nearest Station: Toei Asakusa Line Kuramae Station, Toei Oedo Line Kuramae Station
Access: Toei 6-minute walk from Toei Asakusa Line Kurame Station A5 Exit
5-minute walk from Toei Oedo Kuramae Station
Price Range: 2,000~3,000 yen
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