Tonkatsu Maisen, Aoyama

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TOKYO | Tonkatsu is one of our favourite things to eat, and when we visit Japan, we always make sure we stop by Tonkatsu Maisen, which is rightly regarded as one of the best places for Tonkatsu in Tokyo. Maisen have a few outlets, but the original and best is located in a former World War II public bathhouse in Aoyama, just a few streets behind Omotesando Hills.

The venue is beautiful – with high ceilings, and lots of wood and heritage aspects from its bathhouse days retained – sitting here feels special, and that’s before your food has arrived. The menu contains many appetising items, but of course the main reason one visits Maisen is for their tonkatsu. The signature, and most expensive tonkatsu here is the Oki Taguro butatoku loin. You get 150g of juicy, tender pork of the highest quality with a fantastically crispy coating that’s not the slightest bit oily. It’s topped with Maisen’s special tonkatsu sauce, and served with a bowl of rice, shredded cabbage, Tonjiru (pork miso soup), and pickles. This is, without a doubt, the best tonkatsu that we have ever tried in the world. At ¥3960 however, it’s not cheap.

There is an option to get the Tonkatsu only, for ¥3,420, but if your budget can’t stretch that far, there is the still fantastic 130g Kurobuta (Berkshire Black Pig) Tonkatsu priced at ¥3,100 for a set or ¥2,600 for the Tonkatsu only. No matter which you choose, you won’t be disappointed. When you look at the menu you’ll see hire (tenderloin or fillet) and the fattier rosu (loin) listed. You might be tempted to go for the hire, but do as those in the know do and order the rosu – it’s slightly cheaper than the hire and tastes better, with the extra fat simply melting in your mouth due to the quality of the pork and the precision with which it’s cooked.

On your way out, stop by the take away counter and grab some of the tonkatsu sauce and seasoned salt to take home with you, and maybe a katsu sando to enjoy later.

Tonkatsu Maisen (Aoyama Honten)

4-8-5 Jingumae
Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0001
Japan

Telephone: 01 2042 8485
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 11:00am to 10:45pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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