Photo by grape Japan

We tried one of the best pork katsu curry sandwiches in Tokyo

Katsu and Katsu Curry in Japan

Pork katsu, known in Japanese as tonkatsu (豚カツ or とんかつ), is one of Japan's favorite fried foods. The breaded and fried cutlets of pork can be enjoyed without rice, in which case they're often cut into thick slices and served with shredded cabbage, or on a bowl of rice, which is called katsudon (カツ丼 or かつ丼).

Another popular way of enjoying pork katsu together with rice is in combination with curry roux, in a dish known as katsu curry (カツカレー katsu karē). Filling and satisfying, katsu curry is served everywhere from school cafeterias to neighborhood eateries and family restaurants. Of course, you'll also find it at many curry chain restaurants as well.

However, if you really want the best katsu curry, especially if you care more about the katsu than the curry, you should look into visiting a restaurant that truly specializes in katsu, prepared by chefs with expertise in the most delicious meat available and how to select the best cuts, how to bread and fry them just right, a restaurant with such a good reputation that lines often form outside.

One such restaurant is とんかつ都 Tonkatsu Miyako, a pork katsu specialty shop that opened in 2018 in the posh Azabu Juban neighborhood of Tokyo.

Many katsu specialty shops in Japan offer sandwiches as part of their bento and takeout lineup, but Tonkatsu Miyako also sells a katsu curry sandwich (katsu karē sando かつカレーサンド). Since we love katsu curry but had no time to wait in line for perhaps up to half an hour, this was the perfect option for us.

Tonkatsu Miyako's Pork Katsu Curry Sandwiches

When we visited Tonkatsu Miyako, we saw a stack of regular pork katsu sandwiches in a wicker basket but no katsu curry sandwiches. A friendly chef behind the counter told us that they make those to order and it would take 20 minutes, so we took care of some other shopping in the neighborhood (there's an inarizushi speciality shop and a taiyaki store we wanted to visit) and picked them up on our way back.

They were each neatly wrapped in brown paper with an extra paper sleeve printed with the restaurant's name, and came with pickles, a packet of karashi Japanese mustard and moist towelettes.

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We were pleased to discover that the sandwiches were still warm. We eagerly unwrapped the paper to reveal the delicious contents within. The sandwiches were made with shokupan Japanese milk bread with no crusts and cut into six squares.

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It already looked so tempting. As the smell of curry and fried pork wafted up, we were happily surprised to see what looked like two different cuts of pork, allowing you to enjoy some variety: leaner white meat in the back row and more red meat with fattier parts in the front row.

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The layer of curry between the breading and the shokupan bread gives the bread a golden hue, which also looked delicious.

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Time to chow down on some delicious katsu curry sandwiches! We put some karashi mustard on a piece which looked particularly mouthwatering...

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...and gave it a try...

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Wow. This was, without a doubt, the best katsu sandwich, let alone katsu curry sandwich, we'd ever tried. The curry was flavorful, with just the right blend of spices, but not overpowering, letting the succulent katsu work its magic on our tastebuds. The breading was crispy and delicious and the pork was just amazing, tender, juicy and flavorful.

It goes without saying that we had no trouble finishing up the sandwich. We enjoyed alternating between the more fatty cuts and the leaner cuts, which were plump and tender. The lightly marinated pickles were not too salty and were a good accompaniment. We would have appreciated more.

Plain pork katsu sandwiches cost 1,200 JPY and pork katsu curry sandwiches cost 1,300 JPY (incl. tax). Please note that Tonkatsu Miyako specializes in pork katsu, so they don't serve chicken katsu.

Although their sandwiches are amazing, we also suggest dining in to try their wide selection of pork katsu dishes and set meals. As an unusual but delicious twist, they have bottles of maple syrup on the table which they recommend with their katsu, in addition to the usual tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu Miyako

Photo by grape Japan

  • Name: とんかつ都 Tonkatsu Miyako
  • Address: 〒106-0045 東京都港区麻布十番3-9-6 スバルMビル 1F
    1F Subaru M Bldg. 3-9-6 Azabujuban,Minato,Tokyo 106-0045 Japan
  • Hours: Lunch 11:00 - 15:00 (L.O. 14:30) / Dinner 17:00 - 21:00 (L.O. 20:30)
  • Closed on Wednesdays
  • Payment: Cash or Credit Cards
  • Reservations: Not available
  • Price range: Dishes range from 1,390 JPY for kushi katsu up to 2,980 JPY for special rib roast katsu set or special hire katsu set
  • Tel: 03-3453-2929
  • Website

By - grape Japan editorial staff.