Reigning All Japan #2 best tonkatsu in Tabelog ranking, LG knew that one would be in for quite a queue at Takadanobaba. Little did one expect however the queuing actually took place in a side alley out of the sun’s reach on this rather nice yet cold day in Tokyo. An hour of battling with cold and hunger, LG’s finally in. A nice and cosy little neighbourhood yoshoku set up at the basement, with interesting classic jazz version of J-pop melodies blasting at the background.
The waiting didn’t end here unfortunately. As yours truly was just down to the last pour of the big bottle of ichiban sabori, the long awaited tonkatsu was still no where to be seen. One could certainly see the chef busy at work from the counter seat overlooking the open kitchen, it just apparently took up to 5 minutes to prepare one set. And he did prepare them one by one. Bang for the buck for the chef’s time no less.
So it finally came. The look certainly was inviting and the batter was also the kind to LG’s liking. The content, unfortunately, was again the type one would usually find when ordering anything ‘premium’ in Japan (this one is called ‘雪室熟成豚’, snow-aged pork from Niigata). In short, it’s marbled fat again. Alreadly done in a thick cut, it was virtually impossible to bite off the pieces given the fat (that didn’t really melts in one’s mouth, unfortunately). The only choice remaining then was to swallow the entire piece. While still enjoyable at the beginning, it was indeed very heavy when down to the last ones.
Maybe LG only has himself to blame for being greedy as the general lunch ordered by most, despite featuring just the ‘normal’ buta (霧降高原豚), were seemingly well enjoyed by fellow diners. Food for thought for my next tonkatsu visit indeed. Eat what the frequent customer eats!
Still worth a visit no doubt. Just have to pick a warmer day to queue and go with the basics. The scene of 30 people quietly enjoying tonkatsu in a dungeon itself is already a worthwhile experence.