What makes their tonkatsu special is that the panko crumbs that are used to coat the pork cutlet are baked fresh daily; they even have a display in the front of the restaurant in the Burquitlum location where you can watch the cooks make the panko crumbs.
Restaurant chain offering premium tonkatsu
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
I remember the first time that I ate tonkatsu in a Japanese restaurant; it was a delicious pork cutlet, deep-fried and complimented with a special sauce, all served over rice. It is a very popular dish in Japan due to its availability across the country. There are also tonkatsu places that offer premium versions of the dish which I learned can include higher quality meat and a larger-sized cutlet with curry on the side.
Like Japadog before it, Katsuya brought tonkatsu to Canada alongside the excitement of novelty. The tonkatsu chain place began in Toronto before expanding to the Lower Mainland a few years ago with locations on Robson Street and Burquitlum Station. According to Yelp, most of the locations have a four- or higher-star rating. What makes their tonkatsu special is that the panko crumbs that are used to coat the pork cutlet are baked fresh daily; they even have a display in the front of the restaurant in the Burquitlum location where you can watch the cooks make the panko crumbs.
Also, the house tonkatsu sauce is made fresh with five seasonal fruits, 10 vegetables, and six organic herbs. There are a variety of flavours to choose from as well as occasional new flavours to try. Each tonkatsu has the usual pork or chicken as well as fish and cheese katsu which are stuffed with cheese or mixed with sweet potato.
Many of the tonkatsu flavours that they were offering looked appealing so I decided to branch out and try a variation. The presentation of the dish is like something I would see in an expensive restaurant. The tonkatsu is put in the middle with a bit of curry spilling onto the side with an appropriate amount of chewy, shredded cabbage.
The breading in the tonkatsu is crunchy, fresh, and flavourful plus there was a lot of cheese inside, reminding me of a stuffed crust pizza. The curry had the right amount of thickness, and it sticks to the tonkatsu. The toppings and sauces that decorate the tonkatsu offer their own flavours that complement the tonkatsu well.
I also ate their chicken karaage which was dipped in a batter made with the same ingredients that they use to make the tonkatsu sauce and it tasted as good as that, and the mayo drizzled under it adds a creamy taste to the chicken. Some of the other flavours that they have include traditional tonkatsu, a variety of spicy and carbonara tonkatsu, and their signature brick cheese katsu which does have a chunk of cheese that fills almost all of the inside of the tonkatsu.
Katsuya is probably the best place to go to eat authentic tonkatsu and the moment you go inside the restaurant, you know for sure that the tonkatsu will be crunchy and flavourful.