Japanese cuisine started in Malaysia with sushi and sashimi, and thankfully over the years, we are introduced to more and more different Japanese dishes to the country. Now we have Japanese bakery, cafe, egg tarts, teppanyaki, tendon, izakaya, ramen, pasta, pizza, and of course, one of my favorites – tonkatsu restaurants.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, now at Subang Main Place
For the uninitiated, tonkatsu is basically breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that is usually served with shredded cabbage. For those who are in low carb or keto diet (not that I am), this would make a fine meal.
salt, sweet, or slightly spicy sauce?
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is one of the few Japanese restaurants serving tonkatsu in the country at the moment, and they’ve opened up a branch at Main Place in Subang, which is quite a fair bit closer to home for us than their 1-Utama or Publika branches.
Furthermore, I’ve recently being introduced to the ENTERTAINER Malaysia App which offers a buy 1 main and get 1 free offer for Tonkatsu, so why not?
Yep, we only paid for 1 main out of the two, more on this below
pork loin has that perfect amount of fat I love
If you’re not familiar with Tonkatsu, there are basically two cuts you should concentrate on – pork loin, or rosu katsu is the version with a layer of rich fat, and hire katsu, pork fillet, which will be less fatty. I almost always went for rosu katsu.
miso katsu anyone?
At this restaurant there are a few sauces available, and here’s how you use them – the sesame sauce is for the cabbage, raw sesame for rice, sweet, or spicy sauce for the meat, as with the salt as well. Additionally, they also provide mustard on the side (feel free to ask for more). I find myself enjoying the combination of mustard and salt with the meat the most.
Rice, shredded cabbage, and even the miso soup is bottomless here, so knock yourself out.
Tonkatsu Anzu is one of the five premium restaurants located on the 4th floor of Isetan The Japan Store KL that serves one of my favorite ingredients of all time – pork.
We were lucky enough to be part of the launch event a week ago, allowing a sneak peek to what this space has got to offer.
Tonkatsu Anzu, The Table, Isetan The Japan Store, KL
Tonkatsu Anzu uses only premium aged black pork from Kyushu, making it the first tonkatsu restaurant in Malaysia to have that distinction, which sets it apart from the likes of Tonkatsu by Mai Mason and Tonkatsu at Pavilion.
pork fillet, with that perfect strip of fat on top
The pork loin katsu set starts from RM 35 to the premium Gin-Jo-Pork Fatty loin katsu set at RM 55, and for those who may want to skip pork for whatever reasons, they also offer some seafood options, such as fried shrimp set (RM 52), salmon katsu (RM 48), and chicken katsu (RM 32) sets.
sycookie is very serious with photo taking, I love it with salt and some mustard
However, pork is the name of the game here and their version of tonkatsu is definitely on point. I love the light batter and those almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. My preference is to sprinkle some salt and have those fatty loin with the supplied mustard. There’s also tonkatsu sauce should you prefer a more complex flavor.
the menu at Tonkatsu Anzu
I think Tonkatsu Anzu did live up to the expectations and manage to set itself apart from the other offerings around town when it comes to Japanese fried pork cutlets, the slightly premium price is definitely worth it.
Address: Tonkatsu Anzu The Table, Level 4 ISETAN The Japan Store KL Lot 10 Shopping Mall Jalan Bukit Bintang GPS:3.146462, 101.711758 Tel: 03-2119 2625
Tonkatsu remains to be one of the latest Japanese foods to be introduced in Malaysia. For those who aren’t familiar with this Japanese dish, it is basically a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet served with shredded cabbage. In fact, this dish is originated in Japan in the 19th century, so even in Japan it isn’t a particularly old dish.
Tonkatsu at Ma Maison, at One Utama shopping mall
My first time trying tonkatsu was at the version by Wa Kitchen at Pavilion, then probably the first and only tonkatsu restaurant in Malaysia in 2011.
Fast forward a few years later, we have another worthy contender in the tonkatsu landscape – Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. We tried to 1 Utama branch (they just opened another branch at Publika) after hearing good things about this place.
so this is how you use those condiments
The set up is slightly different from their counterpart at Pavilion, with clear instructions on how to enjoy the dish printed on a little instruction panel on every table. There’s a choice of salt, sweet, and spicy sauce on the side, and of course there’s a sesame grinder and peanut sauce for cabbage as well. You’re also encouraged to consume the accompanying rice with pickle.
Wafu Negioroshi Rosu Katsu and Hire Katsu
The menu at Ma Maison is rather extensive (check their menu online). There’s the traditional hire (pork filet) and rōsu (pork loin) sets with a few variations, plus deep fried oyster, crab croquette, jumbo prawn, chicken, and so forth.
I tend to stick with the pork, and in particular, pork loin, only because of the layer luxurious pork fat accompanying the meat.
salad, deep fried pork, miso soup, perfect
Every set comes with pretty good quality miso soup, pickle, and refillable cabbage that goes very well with their version of peanut sauce.
As for the pork, they are glorious. It is lightly salted with very crispy yet light breading and always piping hot when served. Dipping the meat in either the sweet sweet, spicy sauce, or mustard and any pork lover will be in ecstasy. The experience is like the first time you have KFC as a kid.
KY & Haze, after a satisfying dinner
So if you find yourself at 1 Utama, this is definitely a place worth checking out. Average meal would be around RM 30+ per person including drinks.
Address: Tonkatsu by Ma Maison @ Eat Paradise Level 2, Isetan, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, 47800 Selangor GPS: 3.149080, 101.615896 Tel: 03-7727 3337 Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11.00am – 9.30pm; Friday to Saturday, 11.00am – 10.00pm
Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen is one of the latest entries on the 6th floor of Pavilion KL that has lately been on a bit of a revamp. This restaurant is situated right next to Ben’s, another very good lunch option.
Like the name suggest, Tonkatsu serves.. tonkatsu – breaded, deep fried pork cutlets with shredded cabbage and miso soup + rice. To know more there is the wiki entry.
Tonkatsu at Pavilion KL
Yesterday Suanie happened to drop by KL over lunch time, so I took the opportunity to head there with her since she was in a mood for Japanese food, and I know she isn’t too keen on raw dishes.
The menu is brief enough, there were less than 10 different sets/dishes to choose from. To me this is good, takes away all the extra time spent just to figure out what to eat. (see the paradox of choice)
make your own condiment, very rich miso soup
I chose the first set, Hire Katsu Zen (RM 29), and suanie opted for set number 3, Hire Katsu + Rosu Katsu zen (RM 28).
First, a server made the fresh condiments for us (later we made more ourselves). Put some sesame in the super mini mortar & pestle, grind it till you can smell the aroma. Then add tonkatsu sauce (or Japanese Worcestershire sauce). Slightly gimmicky, but it actually works. 😀
suanie says hello, baja hitam style, appropriate at a jap restaurant
My set came with 4 pieces of breaded pork tenderloin cutlet (hire katsu), while suanie’s was a mixed of tenderloin and pork loin (hire katsu + rose katsu).
The pork were pretty good, not as good as beef tenderloin of course, but plenty good for a piece of pork that does not involve any big chunk of fat. It was almost healthy too, since they also give free refill of those shredded cabbage.
Besides several types of deep fried pork cutlets, they also serve pork belly soup, deep fried shrimps and oysters. Shall try more next time!
Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. GPS:3.148872, 101.713368 Tel: 03-2144 2992