Tonta Tonkatsu

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16.5/20 What does it all mean?

 Food Icon 9 | Service Icon 3 | Ambience Icon 2.5 | Value Icon 2

Thumbs up

  • One of the best Tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo, and the world
  • Tonkatsu batter is the best I’ve had

Thumbs down

  • The Special Pork, while excellent, is not as juicy and fatty as Narikura
  • Cash only

Recommended dish(es)

  • Toku (Special) Loin Tonkatsu (特ロースかつ)

TL;DR – Tonta, with a Michelin Bib Gourmand, is rightfully known as one of the best Tonkatsu restaurants in Japan. The pork may be better at Narikura, but the batter is better at Tonta. Both are must visits.

Takadanobaba is one of my favourite suburbs in Tokyo. Why? Because the two best Tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo are here, within a stone’s throw of each other.

So how does Tonta, with a Michelin Bib Gourmand, compare to the arguably more famous Narikura (full review here)?

The Kings of Tonkatsu. Tonta on the left, Narikura on the right.

First of all, Tonta’s panko batter was ethereally light, the best I’ve ever had. While both the batter at Tonta and Narikura melts in your mouth (hallmark of any good batter), Tonta’s batter was thinner with visibly less panko shards sticking out. The batter also stuck to the pork, something that doesn’t always happen at Narikura.

But batter isn’t the only component of a great Tonkatsu. A sign of good pork is when the layers of fat and meat alternate, similar to the marbling you would find on high quality Wagyu, and this is where Tonta loses out. While the standard pork at both places are equally as good, Narikura’s premium pork specials are better than Tonta’s. Tonta’s pork loin is leaner than most, but makes up for it as the meat itself is more tender and has more natural pork taste. It’s ideal for those who have Tonkatsu regularly or are watching their waistlines but don’t want to compromise.

So which Tonkatsu do I think is better? Well that’s easy, Narikura.

But which Tonkatsu would I go back to? That’s not so clear cut. While both were superb, the easiest way to compare Tonta and Narikura is this – Tonta is where I would go back to every day, but Narikura is where I would go when I wanted to treat myself.

Or as a wise little Mexican girl once said “Why not both?”

Tonta Tonkatsu (とん太)
3-17-8 Takada, Toshima, Tokyo (map)
+81 3 3989-0296

Toku (Special) Loin Tonkatsu (特ロースかつ) – ¥2160/$24 AUD (9.25/10)

Tonta Tonkatsu

Toku (Special) Loin Tonkatsu (特ロースかつ) – ¥2160/$24 AUD (9.25/10)

Tonta Tonkatsu with Rice

Toku (Special) Loin Tonkatsu (特ロースかつ) – ¥2160/$24 AUD (9.25/10)

Tonta Interior

Tonta Interior.

Tonta Entrance

Tonta’s Entrance, normally accompanied by a queue of Japanese salarymen.

Tonta Tonkatsu

Goodbye my lover.

So fellow foodies, is Tonta or Narikura Tonkatsu your favourite?


4 thoughts on “Tonta Tonkatsu

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