Monday, December 7, 2009

Katsuman, Kanda (勝漫、淡路町)

Is fratricide acceptable in the pork community? According to reliable sources, the chef of Yamaichi used to work at Katsuman before leaving to open his own tonkatsu restaurant. 1 block away. With a similar menu and style. Personally, I'd be pissed unless there was some kind of blessing or compensation involved. Honestly, the style of the two places is so similar that I suspect there's some kind of co-ownership, but in that case I'm not sure why they opened so close together.

The similar menu means it should be easy to compare...if you went more than once, or if you ordered the same thing. Unfortunately, Katsuman is even more expensive than Yamaichi, and that put me off of ordering the 'Jou Rosu' or 'High [Quality] Roast' that I usually get. Since I had a filet instead, it's harder to compare. And of course unfair anyway, at only one visit.

Some things I can say: the meat and cooking was certainly top-class at Katsuman. I can't really imagine where he gets a filet as big as the one I ate; I guess it's a pretty big filet that's butterflied and sliced into a rough square. Huge for filet. Personally I would say it was a little overcooked, as it was firmly done all the way through. The crust is pretty thick and heavy, but not in a bad way. Come to think of it, it cut the roof of my mouth a little, which is suboptimal, but not a big deal.  The sauce is also very good. It's really spicy and sweet, more than most. I don't know if these guys make their own sauce, but I hope so.

On the down side, the pickles were a bit of a disappointment, as was the afterthought labeled as salad dressing. Now that I think of it some more, the soup was similar, and the provision of oroshi ponzu on the tables was also the same. Are these places really different, or just trying to capitalize on their popularity by providing more seats? Anyway, I'd slightly recommend Yamaichi, but either of these venues will probably serve you the best tonkatsu you've ever had.

Who can take a rainbow...

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