Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ichiban Boshi, Sydney - 1st attempt to overcome my Tonkichi craving

Over the past week, I've received so many signs, visuals and signals that reminds me of tonkatsu, one of my favorite dishes.

  • I saw a travel programme on TV that focuses on Tokyo. In one of the segments, the presenter had lunch at a tonkatsu restaurant in Ginza.
  • On one of the episodes of Japanese drama I'm watching, "Top Caster", one of the characters had tonkatsu for dinner.
  • In a recent interview, Ex-Morning Musume Goto Maki said that she can make a menchi-katsu.
  • To top it all, Tonkatsu is featured on this week's "focus on Japan" in my anime club.
The first thing that springs to mind when mentioning "Tonkatsu" is the word "Tonkichi". Tonkichi is the name of a Japanese tonkatsu restaurant in Singapore. But wait, it's not just a restaurant - it's much more. To begin with, it is undoubtedly the one and only restaurant that the three writers in this blog would agree that this restaurant is among the top of their favorite restaurants list. Secondly, the restaurant brings back many memories for us three.
For me, personally, interesting tidbits involving Tonkichi restaurant in my life include:
  • It is the first Japanese restaurant I ever visit by myself in Singapore. (went there the first time in 1997)
  • Tonkichi's tonkatsu is the first real, authentic Japanese tonkatsu I've ever tasted.
  • A girl broke my heart at Tonkichi.
  • I am proud to say that I was the one who introduced this restaurant to my fellow blog writers.
  • 10 years from now, when I'm old and have children running around my house, I would nominate this restaurant as a reunion place for me and my two blog co-writers if we decided to have one.
  • Their tonkatsu is bloody delicious. If they claim to serve the best tonkatsu outside Japan, I would believe it wholeheartedly.

So, since there's no restaurant in Sydney that's anywhere as delicious as Tonkichi, I thought I might go for the closest thing.
Ichiban Boshi restaurant opened in Sydney a few years ago, and since opening, it has become the most frequented ramen restaurant in Sydney. It's a popular gathering spot for Australian 'otaku' community and Asians alike. I would have to admit that their ramen taste good, (certainly better than restaurants like Ajisen or something like that), but honestly, I've had much better in other countries (such as Yokozuna Ramen in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong and Taichan Ramen in MidPlaza Jakarta). But as far as Sydney's concerned, this is the best.

In addition to ramen, they also serve Tonkatsu. Now I've tasted LOTS of tonkatsu in Sydney. And while none of them matches the perfection of Tonkichi in Singapore, at least Ichiban Boshi's tonkatsu is the best among them all in Sydney. Actually, they serve the best HIRE KATSU (pork fillet cutlets) instead of the best TONKATSU (pork loin cutlets). The best tonkatsu in Sydney would be at Azuma in Hunter St.

So, I ordered the Hire Katsu set. Pretty good, the pork tenderloin is succulent and crispy on the outside. However, they only serve it with a normal tonkatsu sauce (tomato-worchestershire-based sauce) instead of the much-coveted miso sauce like they do in Singapore's Tonkichi.
After having this rosu katsu, my Tonkichi craving was reduced by 50%. But do you think the story ends here? think again. Check my next post for more exciting Tonkatsu-related adventure!!

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