Posted by: tonkatsudelights | January 13, 2008

Tonkatsu Galore! at Wako

The other culinary highlight of my Japan trip this time is none other than tonkatsu itself. 🙂 Hehe… there is a reason why this blog is named Tonkatsu Delights. As per one of my motto – a good tonkatsu is a delight!

During this trip I may say that tonkatsu is the food that we most often eat. From the cold-and-not-tasty tonkatsu onboard Shinkansen to the warm-and-delicious one from the famous tonkatsu restaurant chain, Wako!

Tonkatsu Wako

Tonkatsu Wako is a famous big tonkatsu restaurant chain that has their hundreds of outlets all over Japan (www.wako-group.co.jp). During this trip we have the luxury of trying them at least 3 times in 3 different places, with some interesting findings. We found that:

  • Their menu is not standard. They serve kurobuta, i.e. black pig, in their outlets in The Cube, Kyoto and Aqua City, Odaiba, but we couldn’t find it in Shibuya.

Menu at Tonkatsu Wako Odaiba Menu - Tonkatsu Wako, Kyoto

  • Their prices are not standard. For the same hire katsu set, there is a price difference of roughly about 100 yen among different outlets.
  • The concept of their interior is similar. Though the ambience can be different, but they all have classy interior with classical music humming in the background.

Tonkatsu Wako, Shibuya

Tonkatsu Wako, Kyoto

Having tried their tonkatsu a few times during the trip, I think I may fairly say that they are able to maintain similar taste and quality across the different outlets. As usual, we stick to hire katsu set, whether it is the regular hire katsu, or hire katsu with cheese inside, or whether it is kurobuta aka black pig. Their hire katsu is very tender and easy to bite, the breaded skin is crispy and very easy to like. Their price? Very reasonable. Their tonkatsu sets, comes with the standard rice, miso soup, pickles, and tea, are priced in the range of 1,100 yen to 1,600 yen per set. Rice and vegetables, as commonly done by other tonkatsu restaurants as well, are free flow.

My favorite set from Tonkatsu Wako is the extra big Tokudai Hire Katsu set. I found myself hungry for more when I ate the regular set. Simply too small for me. The other good thing is this set comes with miso sauce and daikon. I’m not particularly fond of daikon, but I’m going for the miso sauce. If you eat the regular hire katsu set and would like to have miso sauce vs. the regular plum sauce, you have to pay extra 150 yen.

Hire Katsu set Tokudai Hire Katsu set

Spot the differences! The regular hire katsu vs. the extra big tokudai hire katsu set. Bigger size plus free daikon and miso sauce.

Hire Katsu cheese (sazanka) set

Net, for a tonkatsu experience in Japan that will not go wrong, head to Tonkatsu Wako. Reasonable price, good ambience, good tonkatsu, and easy to like!

Oh… one more thing. As commonly done in tonkatsu restaurant in Japan, Tonkatsu Wako serves their tonkatsu on a strainer. You may think that this is just a small and simple feature, however, it greatly impacts the taste. As we have the salad on the same plate as the tonkatsu, the salad sauce often wets the katsu as well and suddenly the katsu is no longer crispy. So, this is a note to dear Tonkichi in Singapore: kindly please invest in strainers!

–> “Dear Tonkichi, please invest in strainers…”

Note: after this post, I went back again to Tonkichi and found, to my delights, that they now used strainers with their tonkatsu!

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Responses

  1. We ate at the location in the Cube, Kyoto. We also loved it. It’s very tasty and very tender. I actually loved the shredded stuff (is it daikon radish?) with the miso sauce and pork… just great. You could say we are Wako fans.


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