Who can argue with tonkatsu made from pigs raised in the Hokkaido mountains? Certainly not us. Tonkatsu Ichiban is a 15-minute walk west of Kyoto Station, but it’s worth the short trek out there. The food is tasty and it’s good value for money.
Tonkatsu Ichiban – image © Chris Rowthorn
If you have any familiarity at all with Japanese restaurants, you know they take provenance seriously, even when it comes to seemingly pedestrian food like tonkatsu. Indeed, the breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet might be a cheap and cheerful staple of casual Japanese eating, but the quality of ingredients is still paramount. Tonkatsu Ichiban is proof of that!
Tonkatsu Ichiban, or “Number One Tonkatsu,” is located west of Kyoto Station, just northeast of Umekoji Park. They serve a number of Japanese-style Western dishes, such as omurice (omelette-coated rice), fried shrimp, and cream croquettes, but the real star of the show here is the tonkatsu.
They make the tonkatsu with Camborough pork from pigs raised in Hokkaido. It’s boldly flavoured, tender, and laced through with sweet, buttery fat – a perfect contrast with the crunchy coating outside. Rather unusually, it’s served with a homemade demi-glace sauce rather than the customary tonkatsu sauce. It’s a lovely change in our book.
Tonkatsu Ichiban is definitely worth the 15-minute walk west of Kyoto Station. The food is tasty and it’s good value for money. Don’t just take our word for it though; the proof is in the pudding – or the lunchtime queues, anyway! Have a stroll through nearby Umekoji Park afterwards to walk off the tonkatsu if you like.
For more Kyoto tonkatsu choices, see our Best Tonkatsu In Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Name in Japanese:
403 Teppo-cho, Kuromon-dori-Kizuyabashi-agaru, Shimogyo-ku
Closed 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday
Non-smoking area: Yes
4min walk from Nanajo Omiya, Kyoto Suizokukan-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 104 or 110 or 205 or 208 from Kyoto Station
Official site (Japanese)
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