Just around the corner from Bar Ben Fiddich on a quiet pedestrian side street is a local tonkatsu-ya, Tonchinkan 豚珍館。The assistant bartender at Ben Fiddich had recommended it for “good tonkatsu and bad service”. He also warned us that there most likely would be a line. We didn’t see a line when we turned the corner, but there was a small line going up the stairs to the second-floor shop.
It’s a value-priced meal, considering that you can get free refills of rice and tonjiru, miso soup with daikon and pork. The standard tonkatsu (photo above) is 950 JPY and is a thick cut with the breading in the style of Meguro Tonki. The tonkatsu is dipped in egg and flour a few times before being breaded and deep-fried. There are two sauces, amai (sweet) and karai (spicy), but even the sweet was not overtly sweet as many shops serve. I also love that on the table is a Thai chili sauce for the julienned cabbage.
There is an English menu and you place your order while waiting in line. This is a shop you don’t want to linger at. Glad I had been warned about the service. Diners are not coddled as at most shops in the city. This is like the strict mother getting you to eat your meal and kicking you out so the next person in line can get in.
Don’t compare this to Maisen or Butagumi. If you only have time for one tonkatsu meal in the city, then head there. But if you are here for a while, or you craving meat after dreamy cocktails at Bar Ben Fiddich, then this is a fun, local experience.
Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-13-8, Takahashi Bldg. 2F
closed Sunday and holidays
4 Comments Add yours
Unfortunately I dont take pork, so so they have beef? Will be in Tokyo from 30 Dec to 4 Jan and it seems most restaurants closed. Can you tell me where I can get a copy of your book ? Tks
Yes, they have chicken and seafood (shrimp). But, the fry would be cooked in the same oil as the pork, most likely. I hope that it is o.k. Also, you can not take the miso soup. I don’t know if they have it without pork…
Food Sake Tokyo is sold at Kinokuniya bookstore at Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square. Have your hotel call before you go. Hopefully you can get the book before you arrive so you can use it to plan your trip. Be sure to print the updates which are on my blog.
I hope you have a delicious time in Japan.
This summer I ate in both Maisen and Butagumi. Nevertheless, my favorite tonkatsu spot was “Ichikatsu” in Ryogoku. Great familiar atmosphere and a really tasty and fatty cutlet, an extraordinary surprise.
I don’t know Ichikatsu. Thanks for putting it on my radar!