Japan's favourite meat dish is best enjoyed with this house-made apple cider sauce. - Photos CHAN TAK KONG/The Star
Tonkatsu serves up dishes that tease the eyes and tummy.
IT’S deep-fried. It’s sinful. And most importantly, it’s nothing like your usual Japanese food.
We’re talking about schnitzel à la Japonais, or tonkatsu. When a restaurant chooses to name itself after one of the most popular meat dishes in Japan, one can pretty much expect what’s on the menu. Having opened its doors three years ago when no other restaurant was serving similar food, Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen sparked a craze for this little-known – and highly underrated – grub in Malaysia.
Little wonder, because it’s oh-so-good and not at all oily. This is because head chef Chan Soi Fong has spent the past seven years in a restaurant in Shinjuku, learning the special art of precision cooking. His secret? Marinate the meat for 24 hours and fry it at a high temperature for a specific number of minutes. This prevents it from absorbing too much oil and grease.
“In Japan, the best tonkatsu is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It doesn’t have a cloying aftertaste because it isn’t oily,” he says.