The oddly-named Tonkatsu Butagorira serves up some super-crispy batter – encasing juicy pork loin cutlets, of course! Eating this cheap and cheerful meal is best paired with a visit to nearby Nijo Castle.
Tonkatsu Butagorira – image © Chris Rowthorn
With a name like “Butagorira” or “Pig Gorilla,” this tonkatsu restaurant might inspire more than a touch of puzzlement and some cocked heads. But have no fear – no gorillas were harmed in the making of these delicious, wallet-friendly deep-fried pork cutlets.
The meat they use at Butagorira is tender and juicy, yes, but what pushes this into the realm of excellence is the batter. Huge, crispy shards of batter, shattering audibly with each bite. This is true whether it’s the pork loin, pork fillet, minced pork cutlet (super juicy), or the croquettes.
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!
We also like being able to choose from standard white rice or barley rice. The latter has a nutty texture and sits lighter on the belly – to our mind, anyway – than white rice. Have a side dish to go alongside if you’re feeling hungry. Simmered honey butter pumpkin always goes down a treat, as do the tofu salad and cold tomato.
Tonkatsu Butagorira is a great choice for a really tasty cheap and cheerful meal. If you’re not venturing out to the northwest of Nijo Castle, there’s also a branch of Butagorira in downtown Kyoto conveniently located near the Shinkyogoku Shopping Arcade and a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.
For more Kyoto tonkatsu choices, see our Best Tonkatsu In Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Name in Japanese:
181-5 Jurakumawari-nishi-machi, Shichihonmatsu-dori-Marutamachi-agaru, Nakagyo-ku
Non-smoking area: Completely Non-Smoking
2min walk from Marutamachi Shichihonmatsu Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 93 or 202 or 204 from Marutamachi Station, Karasuma subway line
Official site (Twitter in Japanese)
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