Tasting Tokyo: Try top-notch Japanese tonkatsu in Meguro

Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi

Tasting Tokyo: Try top-notch Japanese tonkatsu in Meguro

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Only a 15-minute walk from the museum and park, you’ll find a top-notch tonkatsu restaurant.

Taiho specializes in tonkatsu - the Japanese specialty of breaded pork cutlet dishes.

Among the countless tonkatsu restaurants across the nation, Taiho is known for offering authentic taste at reasonable prices.

The popular restaurant attracts people from all over Tokyo, including some famous names in TV. And, because of the popularity, you may encounter a wait if you visit the location. But, believe me, the long waiting time will surely be worth it if you are a fan of one of Japan’s most popular dishes.

My wife and I had to wait in line for about 30 minutes before getting a table. When we went into the shop, the interior was cozy, but tiny - a counter and tables for about 15 people.

Sitting in the middle of counter, we watched as two young chefs in traditional white attire skillfully fried up tonkatsu dishes.

I ordered a roosu katsu (pork loin cutlet) set for 1,500 yen ($11), while my wife had a hire katsu (pork filet cutlet) set for the same price.

According to a chef, their cutlets are breaded with natural yeast breadcrumbs made from their own homemade bread. We enjoyed watching our white breaded cutlets gradually changed color to a golden brown.

The cutlet was crispy and tender enough to cut with our chopsticks. With one bite, the flavor and juices burst from the pearly pink meat wrapped in golden breadcrumbs.

The cutlets come on the plate with shredded cabbage, a sprig of curly parsley and bright wedge of lemon. The cabbage was surprisingly sweet and crispy. According to the chef, they use the leafy vegetables harvested in the Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture, which is known for its high quality of fruits and vegetables.

You can choose between soy sauce, two types of Worcestershire sauce, as well as rock salt to dip your meat in. Among the options, I recommend the rock salt first, as it goes well with the savory, juicy meat that’s rich in flavor.

The set also comes with rice, miso soup, salad and pickles.

Tonkatsu Taiho
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 – 10 p.m. 
Location: 1-6-15 Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (5-minute walk from JR Meguro Station)
Tel: 03-3491-9470

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