Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood @The ONE, TST, Hong Kong

Date of Visit: December 29 2013

I figured that my legs should be very sore from my training yesterday – my trainer was the first person I texted to confirm appointment when I arrived Hong Kong the night before, since zero exercise and too much good food in Tokyo had made me a tad guilty… (I’m up to 115lbs for the leg press at the moment -pretty decent for a female – but my arms are very weak, I can only curl 5 reps of 15lbs before failure, losing form and get ‘stuck’). In order to ‘catch up’ on my ‘lost exercise time’ while in Tokyo, I thought it prudent that I also ran around the park for a good 45 minutes after the weights session before my DOMS sets in. Well, let’s see what my trainer says when I meet him next and whether this was a wise move because I am yet to feel any DOMS, perhaps tomorrow?

So with today being a rest day, I persuaded my Mom and Bro to watch ‘Firestorm‘, a Cantonese action movie starring Hong Kong heart-throb Andy Lau at The ONE and we also had our lunch at the mall too.

***

Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood is a Hong Kong Japanese-styled tonkatsu restaurant serving deep-fried crumbed pork and seafood. The restaurant has a fantastic view looking into Kowloon Park. This is a former British army barracks converted into a park with a total area of 13.3 hectares, offering a full range of active and passive recreational facilities to the public. It is an oasis in the city away from the busy Nathan Road (the longest and straightest road in Hong Kong) where one can go for a relaxing stroll, have a picnic on the grass (a privilege in HK!), feed the pigeons and more interestingly to see the pink flamingos in the Bird Park. On any given Sundays, there will be performances (e.g. kung fu, traditional dances) by amateur groups in the park as well.

20131229-183435.jpg

Views beyond Kowloon Park to ICC (tallest building in Kowloon) and premier residential towers of ‘Sorrento’ and ‘The Arch’

20131229-183449.jpg

Kowloon Mosque

20131229-183500.jpg

Nathan Road, Parklane Shopping Strip and Kowloon Park (above)

20131229-183509.jpg

A lush Kowloon Park

On the table are 3 types of sweet and sour sauces and toothpicks.

20131229-194937.jpg

Unctuous sweet and sour sauces and toothpicks

I was the only one given a bowl of sesame seeds. Me thinks this is a bit misery since in Kuala Lumpur, the tonkatsu place that we frequented (here) has pestle bowls and a pot of sesame seeds on the tables, free-for-all! Hmm…I smell some accountants running the show here?

Anyway, the soy vinegar sauce was unctuously thick, sweet and sour – so the sesame paste that I got was thick and gummy – not my cuppa tea, chums.

20131229-183655.jpg

Sesame Seeds

20131229-183704.jpg

Sesame Paste

My tonkatsu set was HUGE – a big piece of deep-fried breaded pork with shredded cabbage, a bowl of rice, miso soup, pickles and dessert. The breadcrumbs were crunchy, but too thick for my liking. I had to scrap the breadcrumbs off. The mustard was only a tiny scrap on the plate – so I went without any sauces which is even better for me to shave some calories.

I also found the pork too firm and a tad dry, even though my order was the Premium Royal Pork Tonkatsu which the menu had pointed out as “one of the top quality pork meats in the world because of (sic) you can enjoy its juicy, tender and natural flavour“. I shall not ponder the texture of the ‘normal/ ordinary’ tonkatsu at HK$20 cheaper.

20131229-184101.jpg

Tonkatsu Premium Royal Pork Loin (HK$198)

20131229-183913.jpg

Tonkatsu Premium Royal Pork Loin (HK$198)

Both my Mom and Bro ordered the Katsu-Don Sets. My mom had the Katsu-Don Loin whereas my Bro had the Katsu-Don Fillet, both priced at HK$182 a bowl. Presentation-wise, they both looked the same so the picture below was my Bro’s Katsu-Don Fillet – steamed rice topped with pork loin/ pork fillet in scrambled egg and onion sauce and dressed with dried seaweed strips. The set also comes with pickles, shredded cabbages, miso soup and a dessert.

20131229-184136.jpg

Katsu-Don Fillet

20131229-184146.jpg

Side salad of shredded cabbage

Diners are allowed to have free refills of shredded cabbages, but the over-eager waitress swooped in on us to clear our table even though my mom was still eating…

We had a change of hot tea and some watermelons for dessert. At this point, my Bro asked why people throw watermelons into the sea to retrieve corpses and why do this ‘trick’ works? A mythical ‘answer’ here.

20131229-184356.jpg

Watermelon for Dessert

A family restaurant like this gets rather noisy when it fills up – especially with screaming children on the weekends crying over the piped-in Japanese Pop. Will I be back? Hmm… I am sitting on the fence, but maybe, since this is a branch of one of the best tonkatsu places in Hong Kong!

20131229-184405.jpg

Interior of restaurant

It was off to the movie after lunch – but Mom had to get the sweet caramelised pop-corns first!

20131229-185954.jpg

Broadway Circuit Cinema at The ONE

There are a lot of toy stores in The ONE and the one stall that caught my attention was B.Duck. I am not sure whether it is affiliated with Florentijn Hofman’s Giant Rubber Duck installations which I’ve seen earlier this year in both Sydney and Hong Kong (and which I had blogged about here and here), but nevertheless B.Duck has an interesting animated biography, so do check out their official webpage here!

20131229-190016.jpg

B.Duck figurines

20131229-190024.jpg

B.Duck figurines dressed in Xmas best

20131229-190031.jpg

B.Duck Amplifiers

A Crunchy Piece of Piggy Heaven @ Tonkatsu, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit:  June 10 2013

Tonkatsu – a piece of crunchy deep-fried pork heaven – is an ubiquitous cafeteria staple in Japan.

But, did you know that tonkatsu has European roots?  Katsu is the Japanese pronunciation of ‘cutlets’ (pronounced ka-tsu-reh-toh in Japanese), whereas Ton means ‘pork’ in Japanese, thus tonkatsu, thus pork cutlets.   As a very amateur cook, the Chica is pleased to explain that the underlying difference between the European’s pork cutlets and Japanese tonkatsu lies in that the Western pork cutlets being coated with bread crumbs then pan-fried with butter, whereas the Japanese Katsu is deep fried in vegetable oil rendering it crunchier while maintaining the juice and tenderness of the meat inside.

Never mind…

As you probably notice, there are also many restaurants specialising in tonkatsu around.  In Pavilion Mall, there is Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen, located on Level 6.

I should state that I am very apprehensive to anything deep-fried especially for calorie-sake and the type of oils used in the frying.  Having been to China, I have heard too many horror stories about re-using dirty recycled oil.  Nevertheless, I was prompted to try since there is not many eating establishments on Level 6 that I have not eaten, besides, I wanted to tick-off  Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen on my list.

Following a quick welcome by the staff at the door, we were seated promptly.  I am thrilled to see Japanese bankers (they were wearing their tags) having their lunch as their presence vouch the authenticity of this tonkatsu place.  On the table was a tray of condiments – vinegar, dark soy and a bottle of sesame seeds.  Seeing that a grinding bowl and wooden pestle is provided, I took it as a DIY exercise to grind my own sesame dressing.

Should I point out that one should grind the dry sesame seeds before adding in the liquids?  A major faux pas on my side, see the picture below.

wpid-20130610_122059.jpg

My tray of Katsu Soba arrived shortly after.  On the tray was  a small dish of Japanese chilli flakes for me to sprinkle on my soba and my crispy pork loin katsu resting on a rack (I am not sure whether other orders come with their katsu on the racks, but I had asked for my katsu to be separated from the noodles since I don’t like my katsu to be soggy).   In my bowl of steaming soba are some seaweeds, bamboo shoots and half an egg.  The soba was cooked to my liking – al dente, however, perhaps this is a Malaysian-thing, the soup was simply too sweet for me to drink.

wpid-20130610_123023.jpg

Needless to say, it was wonderfully satisfying to sink my teeth into a crispy golden piece of juicy katsu and hearing myself chomping away.  With limited stomach space, I had to guiltily leave 2 pieces of the katsu heaven behind, thus hoping I am pursuing the greater karmic goodness through feeding those creatures less fortunate in the food chain

image

The other set that my dining companion ordered was the very simply called Set 1, which has pork-cutlet tonkatsu served with shredded cabbage, rice, mixed egg plant and miso soup.  Unbeknownst to us until later, the shredded cabbage is refillable gratis

wpid-20130610_122936.jpg

Minced pork with egg plant topped with scallions for a bit of colour.  A very flavoursome side dish

wpid-20130610_122958.jpg

The accompanying katsu for the rice set is a piece of choice pork-cutlet with a different texture to my pork-loin being a different cut of meat.

wpid-20130610_122917.jpg

A hearty meal tucked in deserved a little rest before heading back to our erstwhile duties.  While we would be happy to spend more time in the pleasant environment, time beckoned for us to leave and around RM35 lighter each (including drinks).

wpid-20130610_121654.jpg