Three Generations of Pork Cutlet Chefs

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Tonki Tonkatsu Restaurant in Meguro, Tokyo - Japan (photo: Patrick Lydon)
Tonki Tonkatsu Restaurant in Meguro, Tokyo - Japan (photo: Patrick Lydon)
Tonki Tonkatsu Restaurant in Meguro, Tokyo – Japan (photo: Patrick Lydon)

When my dear friend Kyoko heard the words from my mouth that I loved Tonkatsu, she knew exactly where to take me after work.

If you have a hankering for Tonkatsu (Japanese fried pork cutlet), most restaurants in Tokyo will serve up a fine plate of it, alongside some excellent sashimi, udon, or other Japanese cuisine.

But what Japan arguably does best, is producing single types of food that shine with immaculate perfection.

It’s part of the reason why, before you are considered a real “sushi chef” here, you might need to dedicate 10 years of your life to the craft first. Spend some time eating in Japan, and you’ll realize that they don’t  mess around when it comes to food — or much anything else for that matter.

The ultimate embodiment of this idea is in restaurants like Tonki, which sits in a quiet, unassuming location in the Meguro neighborhood of Tokyo.

Tonki’s delicious dishes are prepared quickly, skillfully, and meticulously by three generations of family working in a huge open kitchen. The menu consists of three choices: Tonkatsu, Tonkatsu, or Tonkatsu, the only variation typically being the type of meat and the size.


Find Tonki Tonkatsu



2 Replies to “Three Generations of Pork Cutlet Chefs”

  1. One of my fondest memories about working in Japan was going to a small Tonkatsu place near my office. I think there were about 10 or less counter chairs. The place was kind of triangular, with the doorway in being on the wide end. To get to an open chair often required clients to stand up to let you squeeze by. And the food: simply prepared and amazingly tasty. I can still taste as I write about it. That was in a non-special area not far from the Shinagawa part of Tokyo. I usually went alone as I was frequently the last to leave the office. No English at all there, so… just enjoyed the food.

    1. Thank you Bob! I really enjoyed your recollection of the tiny Tonkatsu place outside of Shinagawa… the tiny little places tucked away on some alley, really are the best sometimes!

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