Let’s try Tonkatsu at “Katsusei”: the restaurant loved by the locals at Shinjyuku Gyoen!

Have you ever had Japanese pork cutlet, Tonkatsu? This article is introducing a locally renowned Tonkatsu restaurant near one of the tourist spots in Tokyo, ‘Shinjuku Gyoen’.

Today, I’m going to show a local tonkatsu restaurant “Katsusei” in Shinjyukugyoen. It’s little-known great spot where only the locals go. When you imagine Japanese food, you may not think about meat and deep fried dishes but actually Japan is full of deep fried dishes.

What is Tonkatsu?

Tonkatsu is a deep fried pork cut into a thick slice and covered with bread crumbs. You’ll eat with a savoury sweet sauce. When you go to a tonkatsu restaurant, tonkatsu is like a set meal served on shredded fresh cabbages with aside of rice and miso soup.

Don’t say deep fried pork dish is everywhere in the world as Japanese deep fried dishes are slightly different from the others. The secret is the bread crumbs.

Japanese bread crumbs are large and light so it won’t suck much oil which makes the batter crispy. It’s actually getting popular abroad.

After Edo period Japan has opened the country to abroad then a lot of western culture were introduced. It was Meiji era. We call the western style food “Youshoku” then after Tonkatsu became a Japanese standard dish.

Let’s try local loved restaurant “Katsusei” at Shinjyuku Gyoen

This is the entrance of Katsusei. It doesn’t look like a restaurant but it’s very famous local restaurant. They are always getting a good reputation on the Japanese website.

Now the restaurant became too famous, so they only open during the lunch time. You might need to queue if you come after 12pm or might finish early if they had enough guests for the day. I recommend you to be there around 11:30.

The restaurant inside is quite small so better keep your group under 4 people.

When you sat at the table, you’ll get a cup of tea. It’s usual in Japan and it’s free. You’ll get complementary tea or water before the meal or at the end of the meal.

The menu is simple only Ro-su (pork loin) or Hirekatsu (fillet)

It’s a typical choice at tonkatsu restaurant Rosu or Hirekatsu everywhere.

The menu is only in Japanese and it runs by an old Japanese couple, so no one speaks English or any other languages.

But now you know what’s on the menu so just order Hirekatu or Ro-su!
Both come with rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles.

Use the sauce on the table.

If you prefer less fat meat then it’s HirekatsuI presume, women like Hirekatu as it’s less fat meat so easy to finish.

If you like to go for a bold fat meat then that’s Ro-su!

This is Ro-su tonkatsu. The meat are thick and a full of fat with it so it’s quite a volume.

If you like to make it Spicy then Karashi is ideal to try

If you like spicy food in general or like to arrange the taste a bit, maybe it’s a good idea to try some Karashi, Japanese mustard. There is a little pot on the table so give it a try.

It’s Japanese mustard so usually quite hot but slightly sour and delicious.

How to get to Shinjyukugyoen”Katsusei”

The location is here, about 5 minutes walk from the station either from Shinjyukumon or Ookidomon.

When you left Shinjyuku gyoen station, you’ll suddenly come to a residential area and the restaurant “Katsusei” is in the middle.

How was it? Sushi and Ramen is good too but for alternative choice why not to try other Japanese local food like tonkatsu!

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Written by y_a_j_i

This is Yaji that was born in Nagano and living Tokyo now. I love drinking, especially Japanese sake and Japanese tapas. I will introduce many great restaurants and bars all over Tokyo!

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