Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Savor Ginza Swiss' Original Katsu Curry - Since 1947
Ginza Swiss is known as the birthplace of the katsu curry. In this article, we introduce the traditional restaurant's signature dishes as well as its nostalgic interior with photos.
Written by Yoko Tagami
Ginza Swiss is known as the birthplace of the delicious Japanese dish, katsu curry. Since its establishment just after the end of the war in 1947, this popular restaurant has continued to serve its customers with their own traditional Ginza taste. Their menu and nostalgic interior are great experiences you don't want to miss.
What Is Katsu Curry?
Katsu curry is curry rice topped with pork cutlet. It's known as an auspicious food, as the name "katsu" is the same as the word for "win" in Japanese. Thus the dish is often eaten before important events like exams or sports matches.
How Katsu Curry Was Born
Shigeru Chiba, a professional baseball player on one of Japan's top baseball teams, the Giants, often visited the restaurant. In 1948, he asked for his curry rice to be topped with a fried chicken cutlet, and thus katsu curry was born. The dish is a familiar choice in present day, but at the time, adding toppings to curry was unheard of, and it's said that the other customers were surprised by Chiba's request. The innovative katsu curry quickly gained population throughout the country and became the restaurant's signature dish.
Look For the Retro Awning
Ginza Swiss was founded by Mr. Okada, who trained at the Imperial Hotel. He named the restaurant after Switzerland, which he had never been to but had heard was a peaceful and beautiful country.
The red and white sign is reminiscent of the flag of Switzerland.
They offer various dishes, including fried shrimp and Salisbury steak, here as well. Of the many choices on the menu, the most popular are the Ganso Katsu Curry (Original Katsu Curry) and Chiba-san no Cutlet Curry (Mr. Chiba's Cutlet Curry).
A Nostalgic Atmosphere
The pink-checked tablecloth reminds one of the days of the Showa period. The restaurant's atmosphere is relaxed and somewhat nostalgic.
The Hirekatsu Curry Set (1400 yen with tax).
Sets here are served with salad and hot potage. The rich and creamy soup has a refined taste.
The hirekatsu (pork fillet cutlet) is fried to order, and is so soft you can cut it with a spoon. It's amazingly juicy. A fruit-based bitter curry is then poured on top of this juicy cutlet. Slowly cooked for over two hours, the curry has a very rich and mellow smell. You won't be able to stop eating this delicious, classical dish.
Ginza Swiss continues to preserve Japan's traditional and historical tastes based on Shigeru Chiba's words, "History is to be made, tradition is to be preserved." We hope you stop by and experience these traditional flavors for yourself.
Grill Swiss Ginza
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 3-5-16
Hours: 11:00-20:00 (Closes at 17:00 on Mondays)
Credit Cards: No
Menus in Other Languages: No
Nearest Station: Ginza Station, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Access: 3 minute walk from Ginza Station A9 Exit, behind the Apple Store
Price Range: 700-2000 yen
Phone Number: +81-3-3563-3206
Official Website: http://ginza-swiss.com/ (Japanese)