Widely known as Katsukura, this restaurant’s tonkatsu is a cut above many places: the pork is excellent, and the sauce is homemade. Plus, the Sanjo main shop in downtown Kyoto serves tasty crab croquettes and chicken cutlets – perfect when not everyone wants to eat the same thing!
Katsukura Sanjo Main Shop – image © Chris Rowthorn
Blink and you might miss the entrance to Katsukura. The door to the main branch of this hallowed restaurant is located down a narrow slip of an alley just off the Sanjo Shopping Arcade near Sanjo Shopping Station. Apparently, Katsukura fries their cutlets in zero-cholesterol vegetable oil, which is great if you’re feeling health-conscious on holiday. They offer free refills of shredded cabbage, soup, pickles, and tea. Besides, who can argue with a deep-fried pork cutlet? Certainly not us.
A special mention must go to the tonkatsu sauce here. Katsukura’s sauce is made in-house with an original blend of red wine and fruit chutney, and if you’ve eaten tonkatsu before, you’ll appreciate just how much depth of flavour theirs has!
What’s also very cool and special here is being able to blend your own dipping sauce at the table. Grind some sesame seeds to a paste in the mortar and pestle provided. Then, stir in your sauce(s) of choice and adjust this dipping sauce to your liking. You can even add some mustard if you wish!
Even if you’re not a fan of porcine meals, there are a number of other options available here. From crab cream croquettes and fried shrimp to chicken and beef cutlets, there’s sure to be something for the non-pork eater. We especially like the yuba (soy milk skin) croquette – it’s hot and creamy without being overly greasy or heavy.
Quality is consistently high across the Katsukura branches located nationwide. But, there’s still something quite special about eating at the original shop. Arrive a little too late and there might be a queue. But their solidly-executed pork cutlets are sure to satisfy anyone craving this dish.
For more Kyoto tonkatsu choices, see our Best Tonkatsu In Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Katsukura Sanjo Main Shop
Name in Japanese:
16 Ishibashi-cho, Sanjo-dori-Teramachi-higashiiru, Nakagyo-ku
Non-smoking area: Completely Non-Smoking
5min walk from Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station, Tozai subway line
Official site (English)
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