It pays to get friendly with the locals! On this last trip to Osaka, we discovered a regional tonkatsu restaurant chain that ranks right up there in my all time best tonkatsu list. Minako san of All Star Osaka Walk recommended Tonkatsu KYK and what a great find it was!
KYK (or Kehwaikeh as the website so helpfully puts it) has a number of restaurants in the Kansai area and more than a few in Osaka itself. We went to the branch on the 28th floor of the Hankyu building in the Umeda/Osaka station area.
Because we were at the restaurant a little before 6 p.m. there were more than enough tables to choose from. The very friendly and kind waiter led us to a choice window table, the better to enjoy the view.
And what a view it was! Twenty eight stories above the ground gave us a bird's eye view of Osaka as far as the hills and mountains that surround the city. It was quite a breathtaking sight.
We were perched even higher than the giant red ferris wheel on top of the Hep Five building, a new entertainment and shopping centre in the Umeda station area. This ferris wheel is definitely on my list of things to do, on my next trip to Osaka!
I order the large bottle of Asahi super dry -- last beer for the road? We're leaving tomorrow morning, after all.
I sometimes define myself as a vegetarian ... but only when I'm "at home".
When I'm out of the country and a significant, not-to-be-missed, iconic taste experience presents itself, who am I to be so rigid and inflexible? It's like cutting off my nose to spite my face.
So instead of opting for the usual fried ebi that is also a staple in tonkatsu restaurants, I ordered my favourite rossu cut.
The rossu was very tender, the batter was crunchy and not at all oily. The fat that naturally comes with this loin cut was thin and just enough to enhance the juicy and succulent mouth feel.
Tonkatsu KYK brought back memories of all the good and memorable tonkatsu meals I have enjoyed in Japan.
I normally eat my meal at such a fast pace but this time, I deliberately slowed down -- the better to savour and enjoy each and every bite. And of course, to continue to marvel at the gorgeous view right outside my window. To see dusk fall and watch as Osaka turned on her lights -- it was a lovely way for each of us to say good bye to each other ... at least, for now.