I've read reviews about Tonkatsu Yamabe prior to our trip to Tokyo but it was purely by chance that we got to dine at the Ueno branch.
We just came from Ueno Park to see the sakura blossoms and we're looking for a nice place to have brunch. Alas, we're too early because most of the restaurants opens at 11AM. We did plan to dine at Sushizanmai but since it was still closed, we decided to go around Ameyoko market first to check shoes, bags, etc. Then my daughter was checking Google map and mentioned that the tonkatsu place that I have on my list is just nearby so we walked there to check the restaurant. It was still closed but there's only four diners in line. Hmmm.. what do you think happened next? It was 15 minutes before 11AM.
Of course we forgot all about the other restaurant (it's just sushi!) and hurriedly joined the line. And it was a wise decision because a few seconds late, the line would've been long already. I noticed that there are a lot of locals (vs tourists) lining up so that's a good sign.
It was exactly 11AM when we were let in but prior to that, they already took our orders. The menu highlights pork cutlets so we all got that. There's also fried seafood and horse meat but I'll save that for a next visit.
I got the pork loin cutlet, daughter got the big sizu pork loin cutlet, and my friend got the special pork loin cutlet. Hahaha, they all look the same to me really.
While waiting, we were given hot matcha and pickled cabbage. Love the matcha! I asked for several refills. Nice drink when eating tonkatsu, you know what I mean. The pickled cabbage
also tastes refreshing, cleansing the palate before the feast.
And the verdict? It was so good! Perfectly cooked and tender and this is quite a surprise --- not oily! How did they do that? I also love the 'crunch' from the batter. The special sauce adds a whole new world of flavor to the tonkatsu
. I did use it for my shredded cabbage and it pairs well also.
Definitely coming back for another round and will also order the seafood, and maybe the horse meat.
Btw, Tonkatsu Yamabe only accepts cash. Also, the restaurant's second floor area is for diners in groups of 2-4. The first floor is for solo diners. Be warned though because the stairs is a bit steep.
It's easy to find Tonkatsu Yamabe, just look for McDonald's!
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