Tonkatsu Bento Take 2

I am not ashamed to admit that I like fried food. I don’t overindulge in it, of course. But there’s just something sinfully comforting about things that are coated in batter or breadcrumbs and fried. Tonkatsu, or a thin pork cutlet fried in a panko coating and served over rice and cabbage, is no exception. I was first introduced to tonkatsu in a little noodle shop in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was our first full day in Japan, and we were famished. Tokyo is a very overwhelming city, and the choices of restaurants were endless. Our first restaurant experience ended us up in a little dive where no one spoke English. We decided that for our second try, we would stick close to our hotel. The front window of the restaurant had a very vivid display of the menu choices (I found it was common in Japan for restaurants to display plastic mock-ups of the menu in their front window). A good sign. When we walked in, we saw a group of Americans; another good sign!

This little noodle shop was fabulous. The service was quick and friendly, and the food was superb. I loved my tonkatsu so much, we went back there for dinner again the next night and i got their yakiudon, which was also very good. My husband and I like to reminisce about that little noodle joint! 

So this is my second tonkatsu bento! I prefer this one over the first. Since it is the year of the rabbit, I am using that excuse to indulge my love of the cute and cuddly. So bunnies make an appearance in this bento in the form of cheddar cheese cut outs and apple rabbits. I also included glazed carrots, an agar-agar jelly, and a little wedge of chocolate marble cheesecake. I didn’t make my own tonkatsu sauce this time; I bought it bottled. The brand is Bulldog and it’s very good.

Do you have a funny or interesting restaurant experience? Please share! 🙂

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 19:15:31

    I’ve never really had Japanese food, but that looks good to me! I love the little bunnies!


    • katycrayon
      Jan 17, 2011 @ 19:19:56

      People are usually afraid of Japanese food because they think it’s all raw fish, but it’s not. They have lots of good non-scary food, like tonkatsu! 😀


  2. heather
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 11:38:24

    The tonkatsu sounds delicious!

    Our taxi driver in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) recommended a local restaurant for us to try some real Caribbean food. There were around 5 main dishes to choose from and we let our waiter choose for us so we could try his favorites. It was the best meal we had all vacation! It was very different from American restaurants because the plate had a main meat dish and a minimum of 5 different side dishes and my sides were different from hubby’s! There were so many different flavors! We’ll never forget that place ^_^ it was truly a highlight of our vacation.


  3. Christine Davis
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 16:03:10

    Hey Katy! My first restaurant experience in Japan ended up being a hilarious, but delicious, adventure. My friend and I hit up this little udon shop next to our hotel in Osaka, and no one spoke English >.< There was one employee, my friend and I couldn't read kanji at all, and there was a family of women: grandmother, mother, and high school student-aged daughter. Thank goodness the daughter was there, after they all laughed for a good 10 minutes and my friend and I sat there sheepishly, she suggested what to get. It turned out the food was awesome, but we learned that Japaneses noodle portions are humongous! But it made for a great story when we got home, definitely good to laugh about ^_^


  4. katycrayon
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 18:22:22

    Heather, that sounds like an awesome experience! I think other countries tend to have more fun with meals than Americans do. I like American food but we’ll pretty much just slap it on a paper plate and call it dinenr most nights, if we eat at home at all. Soudns like you had a great experience!

    Christine, my husband and I learned that about noodle portions, too! We sat down to what was supposed to be a “quick” lunch in a Kyoto noodle shop, and my bowl of curry udon was HUGE! LOL I still feel slightly embarassed when I think about our first experiece in that Tokyo restaurant, though. Our poor waitress was trying so hard to understand us!


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