Looks like it’s a Japanese cuisine kind of month! A few weeks ago I was invited to have some unlimited sushi and sashimi at Genji M (spam sushi, anyone?), which has definitely reinforced my love for Japanese cuisine. Now with all that raw Japanese seafood, I think it’s time for me to have some deep-fried ones…with 25 layers! For this, I had a much-anticipated weekend lunch at Kimukatsu.
With all the different Tonkatsu establishments springing up all over the Metro, it will be a tough job to keep up and stand out among these pork cutlet businesses. The arena looks promising though for Kimukatsu, being one of the most popular pork cutlet restaurants in Japan and having several branches in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Sendai, and now, in the Philippines.
The interiors of the restaurant are designed by a special designer team from Osaka.
Kimukatsu takes pride in their 25-layered Tonkatsu which was inspired by the Japanese Fashion trend called “Kasanegi”, which in turn features several layers of clothing in one outfit. Kimukatsu incorporates this “layering” trend into traditional Japanese cuisine creating a juicy, flavourful tonkatsu recipe stacked and packed into 25 layers of crispy goodness.
But let us not get ahead of our dining experience. Let’s start with the appetizers!
We’re already used to having shredded cabbages whenever having Katsu. According to David Guevarra, the Operations Manager of Kimukatsu (who warmly welcomed and accommodated us as we had our lunch), cabbage is great for flushing away the oils that come with fried food – although you don’t have to worry much about that at Kimukatsu since they use canola oil, and their cooking techniques get rid of almost 80% of the unwanted fat in the fried goodies. The freshly-cut cabbages they offered us come with Gomo (Black Sesame)-based and Ponzu-based dressings.
While waiting for our tonkatsu orders, we also had the Negi Shio (Spring Onions) Tofu (Php 130.00) and Tatsuta-Age (Shrimps, Php 180.00). We particularly loved the Tatsuta-Age, which was made more flavourful by the Japanese Mayo and Sauce.
The highlight of our lunch was the Kimukatsu Set! Kimukatsu has several selections of different flavors of tonkatsu and you can choose to have a 3-Flavor (Php 1,200.00), 4 Flavor (Php 1,500.00), 5-Flavor (Php1,800.00), 6-Flavor (Php 2,100.00), or 7-Flavor (Php 2,400.00) set. You can choose which flavors you like, and the set comes with rice too! Since we didn’t want to hold-back, we had the 5-Flavor set, getting the plain, cheese, black pepper, garlic, and Yuzu Kosho Flavors.
The “fillings” for each flavour is wrapped in generous layers of juicy pork cutlets.
Drinks weren’t one of their specialties but the Mango and Watermelon shakes were refreshing enough.
My favorites were the garlic and black pepper flavors. Each crunchy bite bursts with flavor, as the juicy and tender pork layers fill up your mouth. The Yuzu Kosho flavor (yuzu fruits and green chilli pepper) also had a certain “kick” of spiciness, although the sauces helped in neutralizing the taste. Speaking of the sauces, you can have the usual tonkatsu sauce with ground black sesame, the ponzu, or some Himalayan salt. We had some fun experimenting with the flavors and sauces!
I enjoyed doing this more than I should..LOL
Line ’em up! Tonkatsu sauce with ground black sesame, Ponzu, and Himalayan salt
The set includes rice, miso soup, cabbages, and Japanese pickles. Kimukatsu also takes pride in the rice that they serve – the offer the finest Koshihikari rice that’s made to order to ensure that you get them fresh from the pot – and served in 15 minutes! The rice grains are subjected to a special kind of immersion process that makes the grains absorb the right amount of water to make the rice shiny and have the perfect texture. I have got to learn how to cook rice the way they do! The “immersion process” though, is a secret. 😉
We had a some good miso soup to go with our fried cutlets. Kimukatsu offers red or white miso soup (stir them before you sip so you can enjoy the flavors). Traditionally, the white miso soup is served for the ladies and the children since it has a softer, more subtle taste, while gentleman have the red miso soup which is saltier and stronger in taste. Don’t hesitate to ask for either though regardless of your gender *wink wink*.
After all those fried cutlets, we had to have dessert!
The Kurogoma Pudding (Php 110.00) was such a beauty – and it tasted as good as it looked! What’s good about Kimukatsu’s desserts is that they use Japanese sugar, which is not as sweet as the regular sugar we know, giving the desserts just the right sweetness without being too overpowering. Kurogoma is black-sesame based, and it actually tasted a bit like peanut butter. I would have loved it more though if it was served cooler.
Because one dessert is never enough, we had another one – this time we had the Macha Parfait (Php 230.00). It’s made up of green tea ice cream, chestnut, red bean paste, and shiratama (Japanese sweet rice dumplings). I loved how the different flavors of the ingredients complemented each other – with the chestnut acting as a neutralizer to the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients.
But our lunch treat didn’t end with the desserts! We got complimentary Kimukatsu Sandwiches (or as we like to call them, “KatSan”) for us to take home. It’s basically Katsu covered in tonkatsu sauce and sandwiched between fresh white bread. It comes in Plain (PhP 210.00) and Cheese (Php 230.00) flavors – and in cute school bus-boxes too!
All the care, precision, and fineness in Kimukatsu’s cooking techniques definitely translate to the taste of every dish they serve. You can easily tell that they are dedicated to good quality food, and to giving their guests the best tonkatsu experience they could offer. No wonder Kimukatsu has become very popular in Japan.
Level 5 Shangri-la Plaza East Wing Shaw Boulevard cor.
EDSA Mandalyoung City
Kimukatsu will also be opening a new branch soon at Bonifacio High Street (in what used to be Kirin, if I’m not mistaken), so that’s something to look forward to!