Japan’s quintessential fried cuisine tonkatsu reflects a savory heritage of East and West. In short, tonkatsu is a pork chop or cutlet; but unlike its cousin of French origin, this essential Japanese dish boasts a crisper texture and is often served with condiments not readily found on European tables. If you are looking to sample the best tonkatsu in Tokyo, look no further than these seven restaurants.
Meat is not originally part of the Japanese staple diet, and thus was—and still is—considered a luxury among Japanese people. Steak and beef culture in Japan is quite recent, occurring only after Western culture itself swept through the country during the Meiji era just 140 years ago.
Then as now, the Japanese constantly strive for excellence and everything they do, and the quality of their meat is no exception. The world-famous wagyu, or literally Japanese beef, is coveted for the amazing marbling it has as well as a deep flavor quite unlike any other meat. There are different types of wagyu, graded according to their yield and quality, with Kobe beef, Matsuzaka beef, and Omi beef commonly known as “the top 3.” Of course, the world of Japanese beef dishes isn’t limited to wagyu. From steak to teppanyaki and beyond, let’s look at six wonderful ways to serve Japanese meat.
Sukiyaki may be well-known as a popular anglicized version of a Japanese-language song in the ‘60s, but it really refers to a Japanese hot pot dish of thinly-sliced beef that is slowly simmered in a sweet broth of soy sauce, sugar and mirin. It evolved to its current form during the Meiji era, or late 19th century, when the consumption of meat and eggs became more widespread. The sliced marbled beef, when cooked, is usually dipped in raw egg before being slurped up. Other ingredients include tofu, vegetables such as carrots, leek and cabbage, and konnyaku noodles made of konjac. Sukiyaki is usually eaten during winter as a year-end or new-year treat, and is a popular choice as the whole family gathers around a simmering iron pot and partakes from it in a convivial setting. Once you learn about these 9 Tokyo sukiyaki restaurants, you’ll surely want to be right there beside them.
Tokyo’s first Thai restaurant, Chiang Mai, opened in the Yurakucho area in 1979. In those days, not many people in Japan were familiar with Thai food and it was difficult for the restaurant to source authentic ingredients from Thailand. But the Japanese owner, who worked at the consulate and wanted to be able to enjoy Thai food in Japan, is said to have used his connections to get the necessary ingredients, and the restaurant soon became a popular lunchtime spot among office workers in the Marunouchi, Yurakucho, and Ginza areas. While Chiang Mai closed its doors after roughly 30 years, the popularity of Tokyo Thai restaurants has continued to grow and grow. Read on for some of the most popular Thai food in Japan, and some of the best Thai restaurants in Tokyo at which to enjoy it.