We were in the mood for some pork enveloped in layers of crumbly panko so we ventured down Harajuku’s famous Takeshita st to Shotaro, a cosy restaurant that specialises in tonkatsu.
Our grasp on the Japanese language is dismal at best, but luckily we were able to point at pictorial menus. Despite not fully knowing what we ordered during our brief time in Japan (lots o’ pointing and confusion usually followed the ordering process) we are relieved to admit that we never once had a bad meal. Not once. A small victory for any traveller, certainly, but we are also convinced that we may have also ingested some form of animal penis at one point in Osaka. The joys of mystery 300 yen meals….
I digress. We ordered, or rather hopelessly pointed at, two dishes from the short menu, all of which mostly contained some variation of tokatsu. I had the tonkotsu with rice, and egg and Joe received a tonkotsu set with miso on the side. The adjacent tables containing Japanese downing steins of beer and sharing portions of tonkatsu gave me good vibes.
Quickly, our meals arrived. The pork was perfectly tender but the real life-affirming facet of this meal was the crumbing. Thick, yet delicate panko crumbing absorbed the sweet katsu sauce we poured with glee over our meals. In hindsight, I don’t know what type of wizardly allows for such thick, yet soft crumbing technique – but it may have been the best slab of pork to ever have entered my mouth hole. Accompanied with a spoonful of rice and egg – it was perfect.
Do yourself a favour and marvel at the panko crumbed tonkatsu at Shotoro in Harajuku – you will not regret it!