Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Narikura Tonkatsu (成蔵とんかつ) @ Takadanobaba, Tokyo

Cuisine: Tonkatsu
Charged Price: JPY1,750 per person without alcohol
Visited: 9 November 2015
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 4/10
Value for money: 6/10
Services: 6/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Looking for some of top class tonkatsu. Here is one for you. Narikura Tonkatsu is located in the basement of a building which is just a few hundred meters from Takadanobaba Station. This very tiny place can accommodate around 18 hungry guests at once. Now you know what I am going to say. Expect the usual queue and be prepared for it. The door is opened from 11am for lunch and from half past five in the evening for dinner.

As for us, we were lucky to be there around 10:45am. The queue had started up by the time but we were still in time to be seated during the first lot. I can tell you that after our lunch the queue was still at the same length (~ 25 people) but I am sure it will be more than half an hour queue. Narikura is definitely specialised in tonkatsu or deep-fried pork. However, its special menu is the tonkatsu with an inch thick. Yes, it was thick but still juicy tender. The pricing might look a little high for tonkatsu but it is worth a try in my humble opinion. By the way, forget about atmosphere here. It was just a super tiny joint with good food with simple layout. The entertaining part is looking over the counter to see the owner chef and his team perform their role professionally and efficiently.

Narikura Tonkatsu (成蔵とんかつ) @ Takadanobaba, Tokyo

do expect the long queue

tiny dining room with < 20 seats

the cool chef and owner

sauce and dressing

Since there were only two of us. We chose to opt for Large Tonkatsu (8/10), which comprised of pork cutlet ~ 230 grams / 3 cm. thickness, and Mix Katsu (8/10), which came into 3 pieces of prawn, beef, and pork. For the large tonkatsu, it was juicy and tender. Flavour did explode out of the fried pieces of pork. Ones may expect this to be very crisp. I am afraid not. It was not that super crisp type of tonkatsu but nicely fried to give enough mouth-feel and texture. The set also came with rice, which you can always ask for refill, condiments, and miso soup. The miso soup also filled with small pieces of pork belly. Very nice though. For mix katsu set, it was not different but just came with variety to be savoured. I think pork is still the best choice for this place. Prawn was enjoyable. But natural smell of beef does not seem to balance out with this kind of dish so far.

Well, this is a place to return if the queue is not the obstacle. Itadakimasu!!!!!

Large Tonkatsu (JPY2,180)

~ 3 cm thickness

Mix Katsu (JPY1,400)

Narikura Tonkatsu (成蔵とんかつ) @ Takadanobaba, Tokyo
Floor B1
1-32-11 Takadanobaba
Tokyo 〒169-0075

Open Hours: daily except Sunday and Thursday from 11:00am - 02:00pm for lunch and 05:30pm - 09:00pm for dinner
Tel: +81 (0) 3 6380 3823

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