Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) is the bangers and mash of Japanese cuisine. It`s a cheap, no frills meal. The pork simply arrives on a bed of rice with a bowl of miso soup. The proof though, as they say, lies in the tonkatsu. As in the UK with sausages, the quality of tonkatsu can vary considerably – some are fit for a king, some fit for the cat.
Today I found a royal treat at Tarekatsu, on Inokashiradori in Kichijoji. All the initial signs were promising. When I entered at 3pm, it was still busy. Perched on a stool at the counter, my eyes explored the classy, polished wooden interior. The service was excellent, as was the crispy deep-fried pork soaked in tare (the Japanese person`s HP sauce). After a week of vac-pack Japanese curry and toast, it was so rich in flavour I was almost in tears again. For an extra 150 yen, I even had fried vegetables with it, a real bonus, like the canteen lady adding beans to your bangers and mash.