Monday, February 1, 2010

Wako Tonkatsu, Otemachi (和幸)

Odd that I've never blogged about a Wako before, except to mention it dismissively in posts about other tonkatsu restaurants. It's been a long time since I went to one, although I have of course been to the one in Roppongi Hillz' basement (Metro Hat) and the one under the tracks at the south end of Akiba.

Wako is sort of like the...well, the tonkatsu chain. I can't think of another one that has the same mass appeal or as many stores (actually the only other chain I can think of is Katsukura, which isn't very big for a chain). This means it comes with some quality limitations, but it's actually pretty good. Today I had the Kikyou set, which is a piece of pork filet, a shrimp, and a sort of thin beef patty filled with cheese, all battered, crumbed and fried (everything at Wako is fried; that's what they do. They fry things.). The pork was strong-tasting, which is a good thing in a world of factory-bred, industrial meat. The shrimp was OK. The mince was cheesy. You dip everything in thick, brown, sweet-sour sauce, possibly with a dollop of mustard, or you might choose the accompanying tartar sauce for the shrimp. Either way, it'll be pleasantly satisfying. You can eat all you want of the shredded cabbage, rice (very good rice today) and miso soup with tiny clams (they help digestion and alleviate some of the fat-fry-related issues, supposably). You'll leave full and, more than likely, happy. One of my chief objections in the past was the price, but the above was just under Y1000 (recession pricing?), so we're all square now.

Not that I'll be back to Wako this year; there are too many other things to do.

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