The Origins of Katsu Curry

The original katsu curry.

Katsu curry, tonkatsu pork cutlet with curry rice, originated at Grill Swiss in Ginza. Lunch starts with a small salad and an asari clam and bacon soup. The dark brown curry is made with minced pork and beef is rich with spices and is topped with tonkatsu (1,540 JPY or about $12). On this day most of the people ordered the katsu curry but the yōshoku restaurant has a big menu including fried oysters (in season now), omuraisu, breaded and deep-fried shrimp, and croquettes.

Asari clam and bacon soup.

As the restaurant opened right after the war the owner chose the name Swiss as it was a peaceful country. His dream was to introduce yōshoku, Western-style cuisine, to the Japanese. It now has it’s place in the culinary history of Japan. Highly recommend if you’re a fan of katsu curry.

Yōshoku lunch menu

The historic shop opened in Showa 22 (1947). The fourth-generation shop is on a quiet street just off the main Chūō Dōri street. The restaurant is on the second floor and the entrance is a narrow staircase. Look for the red and white overhang and the signboard with lunch specials. The shop did a renewal of the interior in 2022. Counter seating is quiet if you’re looking to socially distance.

Ginza Grill Swiss

Ginza Swiss has a branch inside the Yaechika underground mall at Tokyo Station. @ginzaswissyaesu is in the Tokyo Curry Quartet section.


Ginza Grill Swiss

Tokyo-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza 3-4-4

Grill Swiss on the back streets of Ginza.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. jc says:

    wow pretty amazing such a ubiquitous dish has such a singular origin! have to try it next time

    1. I hope you can try it! It’s really delicious and fun to visit the shop that invented this dish!

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