The tonkatsu from Tonkatsu Maisen was the BEST katsu I’ve had in Japan. There were several cuts and brands you can choose from. We went with the Kurobuta (black pig/Berkshire pig) fillet and loin cuts. The fillet is the most tender cut. Their menu explains the cuts and brands in several languages. They all come with the staple shredded cabbage and rice. They also had these little pots of tonkatsu sauce with a cute ladle that you spoon over your cutlet.
At Coco Curry, we had also had tonkatsu, but on top of curry rice. The tonkatsu is not as good but still decent. The curry sauce is really what’s best here so we managed to eat at Coco Curry twice during our stay because of it! Coco Curry is actually available in some areas of the U.S., but not in Boston. =(
Aside from all the tonkatsu, we also had plenty of ramen. Our fave was Ichiran, which recently opened a chain in NY! You order from a vending machine and then give the ticket to the waiter along with a form filled in with your customizations. I love how you can customize it exactly how you want it, from the firmness of the noodles to the fat content and toppings. If you’re wondering, I love mine with medium flavour, medium fat, medium spice, 1 garlic glove, green onion and firm noodles. Don’t forget to get their matcha tofu pudding! It’s also delish.
Other common noodles you’ll find are the tsukemen, which are noodles dipped into a thicker broth. We tried one down the street from where we stayed and it was heavy on the anchovy flavor, which I didn’t realize when ordering as it was also via vending machine and I just pushed the largest button that looked like it was the special. Most places will have an English menu but I was able to decipher some Japanese from my high school days of learning the language. It’s a shame I’ve forgotten so much though!
Tsukiji Fatty Tuna
Finally, you can’t go to Tokyo without visiting Tsukiji fish market for some fresh fish. There are plenty of sushi restaurants and even non sushi restaurants here. I tried a bowl of fatty tuna, uni, ikura, and crab. It was all very fresh but I found I still liked salmon better.
Tokyo is a city that never sleeps. You can find food joints open at all hours of the day, making sure you’re never hungry. We made sure to get all the ‘staples’ but we ate so much I couldn’t possibly post about it all. There’s two more posts left in this Japan series so stay tuned for the next post on some street eats in Tsukiji and other savoury snack highlights in Japan!