Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Katsu-gen - Marunouchi Building, Tokyo

A big lunch after soaking up all the history in kokyo gyoen.

This was a nice restaurant in Marubiru (Marunouchi Building), which is a very stylish upmarket office/shopping center in Chiyoda-ku. They only serve traditional Japanese katsu (pork/chicken/beef cutlets). A high-class one, in fact.

Glancing at the menu (which is written entirely in classical Japanese, which made me scratch my head a few times, not to mention asking the waitress the meaning of some words several times), I had no idea there are tons of varieties of katsu. Using what unexceptional Japanese ability I had to full strength, I tried to decipher the array of tonkatsu varieties offered in this restaurant. And soon, I realized that the variety of tonkatsu they serve is based on the origin of the tonkatsu. Since this is Tokyo, their speciality is kanto-style tonkatsu. I was actually thinking of ordering a kanto-style tonkatsu, but what the hell. I decided to be more adventurous and try a Chuubu-style tonkatsu instead.

Besides, given the prominence of Kanto region in Japan and its popularity and commonplace-ness in the world, a Kanto-style tonkatsu might be what the rest of the world consider a 'regular-type' tonkatsu after all. I've probably eaten those common tonkatsu like, billions of times anyways.

Note to Cla: If I may be so bold to announce, I think I've found a tonkatsu much better than Tonkichi's. What the hey, it's not better than Tonkichi. It's much much much mucho mucho 1000x better than Tonkichi's!

According to Japanese ideology and culture, a big part of having a nice meal in a nice place is appreciating the utsuwa (tableware/crockery). In fact, it's not un-common to see some Japanese tilt their dishes to take a peek at the brand / mark at the bottom.
"Yo no bi" (Beauty of/through use), that's what they say.

After serving the sencha (tea), they brought the beautiful vessel containing tonkatsu sauce and a small pot of karashi (horseradish). From what I understand, half of the reputation of a tonkatsu-ya (tonkatsu restaurant) depends upon their accomplishments in making delicious sauces. That's why tonkatsu sauce is an integral part of the meal and its presentation must be taken to utmost care.

These small jugs contain dressing for the shaved cabbage, an ideal accompaniment to a tonkatsu meal. They served goma mayonnaise (sesame mayonnaise) and yuzu (citrus) dressing.

The shaved cabbage is served before the tonkatsu. A small plate is provided so that guests can place a small portion cabbage and dress it. That way, you can try all the different dressings.

Echigo rosu katsu zen

-> First of all, let me explain the name. Echigo is the old-timey name for Niigata prefecture in the Chuubu region of Japan. Rosu means loin. Most Japanese tonkatsu is made from two types of cuts, either rosu (loin) or hire (tenderloin). Hire has better texture and tenderness, but for aroma and taste, nothing beats rosu. Zen just means "small tray" or "meal set". You see why was I confused by the language? I mean, regular restaurants could just call it "Niigata rosu katsu teishoku", which means exactly the same as "Echigo rosu katsu zen", but in everyday language - and I would understand it perfectly.

The tsukemono (pickles) and two small pots containing a salt-pepper-sesame powder, and a mystery powder I could not identify.

The rosu katsu. It was such perfection, and I'm not being over-the-top here. It's simply the most delicious tonkatsu I've ever tasted, and honest to God, I almost cried tears of joy when I sunk my teeth into this beautiful cut of meat. What can I say? The texture is perfect. Notice how the meat glisten. A perfect fat-to-meat ratio (as expected from Japanese pork), and it's perfectly fried you can't even tell it's fried. It's crispy, moist and tender. Truly a memorable dish!

At almost 3000 yen, it isn't cheap, but well worth it!

Asari no aka misoshiru
(Clams red miso soup)

-> This red miso soup has clams to enhance its flavour. The clam meat is too small to eat, and it's not supposed to be eaten. A unique twist to your regular miso soup (well, maybe not so in Japan, but it's the first time I've seen anything like this).

Shirasu boshi
(semi-dried anchovies)

-> This is unlike anything I've tasted before. These small fishes are really big in flavor, as soon as you chew them, you can notice several flavor on its undertone. I'd say, mostly like tea, citrus, and clove. It's strangely delicious. Maybe it's a Niigata speciality.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

soma pills

Soma has a large list of side effects which vary in severity.
[url=http://bakersshowhorses.com/]soma pills[/url]
The usual dose of 350mg rarely has severe effects, but they can sometimes occur.
http://bakersshowhorses.com/ - buy carisoprodol online
Owing to its ability to give euphoric experiences the drug has frequently been abused, particularly in the 50s and 60s, although there are still cases today.

Anonymous said...

http://markonzo.edu http://profiles.friendster.com/crestore#moreabout http://profiles.friendster.com/premarin#moreabout http://riderx.info/members/amaryl-side-effects-amaryl-tabs.aspx miriam http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/zetia-side-effects.aspx

Anonymous said...

lost your money at the [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]casino[/url] ?over 21 and looking where to [url=http://www.generic4you.com]buy viagra online[/url]? or even how to buy [url=http://www.avi.vg]adult toys[/url]? well you can try this websites and [url=http://www.medical-250.biz]buy viagra[/url]. [url=http://www.generic4you.com]sildenafil[/url] and [url=http://www.generic4you.com]generic viagra[/url] online. you can also buy [url=http://www.generik4u.com]viagra[/url] online.
so for [url=http://www.avi.vg]sex toys[/url] and [url=http://www.ewgpresents.com]viagra online[/url] check us ! for great [url=http://www.cahv.org]viagra[/url] deals check us now!

Free Poker said...

The beauty of this Katsu-gen - Marunouchi Building, Tokyo website online is amazed. I like your blog.
Link to my site: No Deposit Online Poker Bonuses for Poker rooms.

Poker said...

I appear forward to coming back to read your eatlikeacow post also.
Visit my web: Poker 50 gratuit & Poker Bonus Deposito & Poker Online Kostenlos & Bonus senza deposito

Online Poker said...

This is really a fascinating website and all your articles, lots of useful stuff. One thing I just want to say is that your Katsu-gen - Marunouchi Building, Tokyo Blog is so perfect to me.
Our www: Online Holdem Poker

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online xanax saliva drug test - xanax pills wiki

Anonymous said...

generic viagra can you buy viagra online - generic viagra work

Anonymous said...

generic tramadol tramadol overdose how many tramadol does it take - buy tramadol online paypal

Anonymous said...

buy soma online will soma show up benzo drug test - buy soma online cheap

Anonymous said...

buy soma bright eyes soma san diego - buy soma online no prescription needed

Anonymous said...

soma drug is soma medication a narcotic - smoking soma pills

Anonymous said...

soma online where to buy soma - buy somatropin online

Anonymous said...

buy soma buy soma from usa - buy soma from usa