Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

With 84-year history, restaurant in new Tokyo fish market continues tonkatsu tradition

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

The new Toyosu Fish Market, with its food court packed renowned eateries, is a gourmand’s paradise. Here you can find a wide-range of tasty dishes made with fresh fish and vegetables unloaded at the market earlier that day.

If you are sushi or sashimi lover, Sushidai and Yamatozushi are big names among the 37 options, as they offer the nation’s top-notch sushi dishes with quality tuna and other fish in season. They are popular, too, so expect long lines outside for entry into either one.

If you don’t care for raw fish or you’re visiting the market with young children, no need to worry, other restaurants inside the market have plenty of non-fish options.

Head to the third floor of the wholesale market building for tonkatsu, or breaded pork cutlet, at Odayasu. This is the second location for this restaurant, as the original has been open outside of the old Tsukiji Market since 1935.

After a short five-minute wait to enter, we were led into a small casual dining area that could easily seat about 20 guests. The beer posters hanging on the walls and other décor made it feel like we were in a typical izakaya pub. In fact, the menu offers many alcoholic drinks, and other patrons during our visit seemed to be enjoying their tonkatsu paired with a mug of beer.

My wife ordered lunch set of “hirekatsu,” which is a pork fillet cutlet, for 1,200 yen ($10), while I ordered sautéed oysters with tartar sauce for 1,650 yen ($13).

Due to the proximity of our tables, we were able to chat up some of the neighboring customers as we waited for our food. Most of them were tourists there to visit the market.
 
Within 10 minutes of placing our order, my plate, topped with five large oysters, shredded cabbage, a slice of lemon, a side of miso soup and rice, arrived.
 
One bite and the rich, fresh flavor of the oyster and butter really impressed me. I sampled the dish with lemon juice at first, then added tartar sauce and soy sauce to see which combination was best. For me, the soy sauce complimented the sautéed oyster nicely.

The beautifully deep-fried cutlet my wife ordered came wrapped in golden breadcrumbs and was crispy and tender enough to cut with our chopsticks. The soy sauce provided also paired better with the tonkatsu than the Worcestershire usually served with the dish.

Considering its 84-year history, Odayasu’s reasonably-priced menu makes it easy to see why it continues to serve up tasty tonkatsu in Tsukiji, and now inside Toyosu’s new market. Plus, the short wait in an otherwise busy food court made it an easy choice for my wife and me.

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.com

Odayasu

Hours: Mon. –Sat., 5:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Closed Sun. & holidays)
Location: Fish Wholesale Market Building [3F], 6-5-1 Toyosu, Koto-Ku, Tokyo
URL: Odayasu.net
Tel: 03-6633-0182 (Japanese only)

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