I walk a lot in Japan chasing tourist sites and so I can afford to let the calories go a bit, this means that without a doubt the thing that I chase most in Japan is really good pork fillet. Accordingly I all but drag my partner into Wagokoro Tonkatsu Anzu.
We order a set meal at 1400Y and 1700Y respectively, the price difference depends on the choice of cutlets you order. This puts the price at around $15 - $20 USD, expensive for Japan but totally worth it. Local beer served in ice cold copper mugs comes for an extra 700Y a glass.
The set meals, like most in Japan, cover the range and balance of a good solid meal. Cabbage salad and pickles is served with your choice of dressing, miso soup, freshly pickled vegetable and tofu and rice are also included. All items can be refreshed at will other than the serving of meat, though honestly this meal is huge and we are more than stuffed before we can begin contemplating a refill of any of the side dishes. We are given a choice of rice and this is the specialty hinohikari rice and red wild rice from Fukuoka, it is freaking delicious. This kind of side dish in my mind is the perfect example of food in Japan - something so simple as rice can be elevated to absolute deliciousness through simple care and breeding of seed culture.
My partner has opted for the seasonal specialties - always worth investigating in Japan where seasons rule the plate. High quality Anzu pork fillet is beaten and stuffed with two fillings - local leafy vegetables and cheese and a pickled plum paste. The plum sets off the pork with a delicious tang almost like having a tart cranberry sauce.
I go for a simple but hefty serve of pork loin breaded in Japanese panko bread crumbs. The sign of a great tonkatsu restaurant is the presence of a grinding bowl and freshly toasted sesame seeds (pictured above with a pestle). Mixed with tangy tonkatsu sauce - reminiscent of US BBQ sauce - this is a delicous sweet, savoury, umame deliciousness that I can't get enough of. Be warned though fried pork in such a serving is a hefty meal indeed, we are glad for the pickles and salad to cut through the fat.
The whole meal is delicious from head to toe, the service the usual excellence one can expect in Japan. I make so many happy food noises that the woman next to me laughs. I feel no shame, this is the kind of meal I come to Japan for and I am not disappointed.
Wagokoro Tonkatsu Anzu, Ginza
High end Japanese pork specialties
The perfect pit stop while site seeing in Ginza
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