Tokyo: golden-fried tonkatsu perfection at Ginza Bairin
The art of frying is not one should miss when in Tokyo. And one of the top three places to enjoy a crunchy yet light Tonkatsu umami feeling is at Ginza Bairin main store. A fast, efficient and super tasty lunch for those that pay extra attention to their lunch.
Tonkatsu is a popular delicious Japanese dish of a breaded deep fried pork cutlet (although several other varieties exist as far as the meat goes), served with rice and shredded cabbage, placed on curry, or used as a sandwich filling. Ginza Bairin was first established in 1927 around the Ginza district by Nobukatsu Shibuya. And although the business, now run by a great grandson, has expanded through the years to other locations in Southeast Asia, Tokyo’s store remains its most iconic one.
With Ginza Bairin ranked up as one of the top places in Japan to taste Tonkatsu, we hurried to Ginza’s district as soon as we landed in Tokyo. Lunchtime is usually kind of busy but the queue moves fast. We arrived just before 12:30 so we only waited for about 15mins or so. However, please note that the place is cash-only so be prepared.
One of Ginza Bairin’s signature dish is the Katsu Don - rice with deep-fried pork tenderloin, topped with an egg. Remarkably, the meat is kind of soaked in hot steaming rice and blanketed with a fluffy egg, but the batter still retains its crispness. Needless to say, the pork is all juicy, flavorful and tender! Yum!
Dishes are also offered with a mix of pork and minced meatballs. The real surprise though was the shrimp. Oh my god, two large tiger shrimps were not enough to indulge in so along we ordered a second dish! Top quality food, perfectly fried carrying too much taste… well done!