Jay and I love tonkatsu and we both believe that the best tonkatsu can only be found in Japan.
Any other tonkatsu in any part of the world is just not up to par.
Our very favorite is this simple, 20 seater place on the 4th floor of the New Shinbashi Building, right behind the train station. Since the signage is in Japanese, we don't even know the name! But we do know how to get there.
The president of Dentsu, Takashima san, brought me there for lunch a couple of years ago and between the two of us, we decreed that it was the best tonkatsu in the world.
For second best, Jay and I like Katsukura in City Center building in Shiodome.
Katsukura originated in Kyoto and now has a chain of several stores around Japan.
They source their pork from only the best pigs in the Kanezawa region.
The tonkatsu there is always good and they have other items on the menu too.
The tables are closely set together and space is maximized since this is a favorite lunch place for many of the office workers in the area. We arrive just as the place opens at 11 am so we get the only table for 2, in a quiet and secluded alcove.
Tonkatsu goes best with beer -- even at lunch time! The small dish of pretty green, white and pink tsukemono or pickles adds crunch and sour saltiness to my mug of draft beer.
For non meat eaters, Katsukura offers fried ebi -- done in the same crisp and non oily batter used for the pork cutlets. There are 5 large prawns per order and it comes with the same large pile of grated cabbage that is a staple with tonkatsu.
Katsukura offers three sizes of pork cutlet -- 80, 120 or 180 grams.
Like the French, the Japanese understand the principle of enjoying good food in moderation.
Tonkatsu comes in two cuts -- rossu or belly and thus fatty, oh so juicy and delicious or the leaner, healthier and more expensive hire.
Each set comes with miso soup, a small pot of rice, the aforementioned cabbage and a dish of sesame seeds that you personally grind with a small wooden pestle and mix with the tonkatsu sauce.
Jay always orders hire and during my pork eating days ... I always ordered the rossu.
Katsukura may be just our second best favorite tonkatsu restaurant, but we're sure we'll always get a great meal.