Sugita Tonkatsu

3 Chome-8-3 Kotobuki, Taito, Tokyo, 111-0042, Japan

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  • +81 3-3844-5529
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This restaurant (not to be confused with a famous sushi restaurant also called Sugita) opened in 1977, set up by the father of the current chef Mitsuro Sato. It is on a main road in Kuramae, and has a counter with eleven seats plus a small private dining room. You can reserve here but you need to be punctual. We were six minutes late for our reservation due to heavier traffic than Google anticipated, and they had already given away our seats and had to join the back of the queue. Fortunately tonkatsu meals are not lengthy affairs, so we only had to wait a quarter of an hour before seats became available.

Pork katsu is cooked three times in oil at two separate temperatures in two adjacent cauldrons. First it is fried in the medium heat oil to trap the umami, then the lower heat oil to cook, and then finally again in the medium heat oil. With the tonkatsu is the traditional shredded cabbage, and well as a special barbecue sauce and mustard. The chef uses Camellia lard for its particular texture. The pork used is from Shiba and had genuinely excellent flavour, the batter coating being crisp and golden (15/20). A fried prawn had the same coating and was very carefully cooked, which was impressive given the sheer size of the shellfish: it must have been eight inches long, a Godzilla amongst prawns (easily 15/20).

The staff, which seemed to be made up of various generations of the family, were attentive albeit quite harried at this packed service, with tables being turned regularly in this Monday lunch. The bill (cash only by the way) came to ¥6,800 (£25 a head). I was very impressed with the food here - it was better than that I have tried at more famous tonkatsu places, and was, in reflection, the best I have eaten.


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