I recently took a vacation to visit my family in Korea and decided to make a quick detour to Tokyo to explore the culinary scene there. I’ve always been a fan of Japanese cuisine, and Tokyo is certainly one of the best foodie cities in the world so I was super excited to check out some restaurants that I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time. My first stop in Tokyo was a popular tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) chain called Maisen. My friend pointed me to this establishment before I started my vacation, and I wanted to see if all the hype surrounding this place was worth it. I’m pleased to say that this place does have a legit tonkatsu.
I didn’t even know there are variations of tonkatsu dishes, but Maisen has a ton, some only served in very small number on a daily basis. I went with one of the limited options that’s served 10 dishes a day (slightly over 3,000 yen). While I don’t remember the exact name of the dish, it was a very good one, juicy and tender meat that wasn’t greasy at all. Normally, tonkatsu dishes that I’ve had a bit of solid texture, but the one at Maisen was absolutely soft, making me wonder whether this is really a pork. Dip some sauce that’s placed on the side and sip some aromatic miso soup, and your delightful lunch is complete.
The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so make sure you get there early if you want to minimize your wait time. One thing that struck me about Tokyo dining scene is how people line up and don’t look antsy at all, patiently waiting their turn. Fortunately, the turnover at the restaurant is quick so I didn’t have to wait too long even though I arrived at the peak lunch time. If you want to have a casual yet satisfying meal with tonkatsu in Tokyo, Maisen is probably the best place to start.
- Creativity: 7.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
Address: 4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo