went to katsuhama last friday because i read about it a
while ago in the ny times as a place to get great
authentic tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet).
everything said in the article was absolutely correct.
the place is on 47th between 5th and madison, right
next to yodo of japan (which i mention in the what's my
craving board under soba). the entrance is actually
sushi tei, a takeout sushi joint, but in the back is
katsuhama, which is a tiny but cozy little space.
i thought it definitely a good sign that virtually
everyone eating there was native japanese (as far as i
could tell). also a good sign was the first page of
the menu, which listed the essential elements of first
rate katsu: USDA Grade A pork, first rate bread
crumbs, i forget the 3rd, but my favorite was the
original oil ("the art of deep flying (sic) depends on
the cooking oil" or something like that, and then the
best part "we guarantee that the oil we use [will
produce only the best katsu] with a very greasy
aftertaste."). once i read the very greasy aftertaste
part, i knew this stuff was gonna be good.
i got the pork tenderloin special, which comes with
miso soup, rice, shredded cabbage and tonkatsu. it was
around $13. the first thing they do is bring out a
mortar and pestle with sesame seeds. my girlfriend
and i hadn't the slightest clue of what to do with the
stuff so we watched everybody else. after grinding the
sesame, they poured in the katsur sauce, from a large
ceramic jar on the table. yummy.
the katsu lived up to the advance billing. very tender
tasty meat, with crispy light flaky breadcrumbs, and a
greasy aftertaste (but only in the best way). the
sauce was awesome as well. the shredded cabbage made a
great side, especially with the homemade salad
dressing. definitely the best tonkatsu i've had in the
city. my only complaint is that the portion was kind
of small and i was still hungry after.
well, if you're looking for very good katsu in a very
authentic place, check out katsuhama. i'm sure you'll
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