Nowadays, it’s rare for me to order any fried food, but my ultimate weakness has to be Tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet). It’s something that I used to always order whenever I visit a Japanese restaurant. I even had a regular one in Melbourne for a while, though unfortunately this cafe has since closed down (food was only average but I was less fussy with my food back then as a student). Having said that, I’ve never paid too much attention to the actual quality of the pork used until recently. So when my friend in Hong Kong suggested a really good Tonkatsu restaurant in Causeway Bay, I couldn’t resist the offer.
Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood is rather popular in Hong Kong, even endorsed by the local celebrity gastronome Mr Chua Lam (蔡瀾). We avoided the queue as we went there quite early, but there were already quite a number of customers enjoying the deep-fried delights.
Being a first timer, I went for the classic Tonkatsu Set with Premium Pork Loin ($198, approx RM80). Although the set comes with Miso Soup, Rice and Cabbage Salad, it is still pretty expensive. Dining can get a little ridiculous in Hong Kong when it comes to non local food, I noticed.
First a small grinder was brought to the table with toasted sesame seeds. I was instructed to ground the sesame seeds myself and then add their special Tonkatsu sauce (Japanese Barbeque Sauce) straight into the bowl.
The aromatic and dark dipping sauce was pretty promising with the right balance of sweet, savoury and tang.
The Tonkatsu arrived and it looked exactly like in the picture: solid golden brown crust, mountain of shredded cabbage, irresistible aroma. I like how the pork was cooked just right with just a touch of pink still in the middle: sign of a juicy, tender piece of meat.
Oh, be still my beating heart! The Tonkatsu was incredibly crispy, almost a little too crispy as it actually scratched the roof of my mouth. But the meat was incredibly tender with some fatty part which melted in my mouth. What a gastronomic experience. Granted, any crispy fried meat would probably generate positive response from me, but the tasty flesh does make a difference. I guess I will never have cheap Chicken Katsu at Sushi Zanmai again.
The cabbage is refillable here. Thinly shredded with lovely crunch, these are the perfect fibre component of the meal. There are 2 types of dressing, one a lighter refreshing vinaigrette and the other with stronger sesame taste. I prefer the light one as shown in the picture. I ended up getting one refill only because of the sheer portion of the Tonkatsu. I did struggle to finish my rice even though it was lovely with fluffy and slightly sticky grains. The miso soup was seasoned perfectly with bits of tofu in there.
Generally I found the service standard in Hong Kong pretty good (well, compared to Kuala Lumpur, it’s not hard to surpass). The staff were attentive enough with good command of English. Would I recommend this? Yes, but only if you have the luxury to spend almost RM100 for a simple enough meal. Now that I have adopted the Paleolithic Diet (more on that in the later post), I will have to ban Tonkatsu for a while at least if not forever. So, lucky for me indeed to have this in my memory bank.
Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood
Shop 412, Podium 4, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay.
Monday to Sunday: 12:00-15:00,18:00-22:30