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The irresistible draw of Tonkatsu magic at Tonki とんき

When in Tokyo, you can be easily spoiled by phenomenal sushi or delicious sukiyaki but the ultimate Japanese comfort food is definitely Tonkatsu, Japanese-style breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets. These juicy cutlets are pieces of fried heaven Tonki, a 75 year old establishment in Meguro, Tokyo, specialise in. Serving either hire (fillet, lean cut) or rosu (pork loin, fatter cut) Tonkatsu, Tonki is a proud no-frills establishment that has a never ending line of regulars and passersby that are drawn to the irresistible smell of its slow-fried Tonkatsu.

It’s hard to resist Tonkatsu, especially when Tonki’s slow-fried process means each bite of its Tonkatsu doesn’t leave that oily after taste and only makes you want to smother it in more Tonkatsu sauce (a thicker and sweeter version of Worcestershire sauce). My good friend Cyrus, a French foodie I met in LSE (remember our post-Japanese class Thai nights?), had found raving reviews of Tonki so naturally, we decided a dinner rendezvous in Meguro was must. 

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Walk in and you’re greeted with boisterous chefs that will take your Tonkatsu order pronto!

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There are always lots of people sitting in Tonki’s communal kitchen-like space, watching up-close some Tonkatsu magic being made

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3 generations of chefs means 3 generations of phenomenal Tonkatsu success

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A no frill but exceptionally delicious meal–the dinner set includes refillable rice, shredded cabbage, and green tea, alongside miso soup and some pickled vegetables. If you order beer with you meal, you’ll also get some complimentary peanuts with it.

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Tonki’s Hire Tonkatsu (lean cut) in all its gloriness–the mustard you see on the side was spicy and delicious with the Tonkatsu. There’s also a bottle of Tonkatsu sauce to share with your neighbors so drizzle generously!

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My photo gem of the night was capturing this elder lady dressed impeccably in traditional Japanese yukata, ordering Tonkatsu to go (The chefs all knew her and her order!).

Tonki’s dinner set comes with rice, miso soup, green tea, tsukemono, and generous amounts of shredded cabbage. I adore shredded cabbage with Tonkatsu sauce so Tonki’s free refills is an extra perk! If you’re in Tokyo and you haven’t checked Tonkatsu off your to-eat list yet, make your way to Tonki. Remember it’s only open for dinner so go after 4pm, grab a seat at the communal kitchen-space downstairs, and relax with a beer. The fried pork cutlets that follow will astound you!

Tonkatsu in its simplest form never tasted better.

eatprayjade x.

Tonki とんき 目黒本店
Address // 1-1-2 Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (next to Meguro Station)
Tel // +81 3 3491 9928
Website // N/A


  1. I love the tonkatsu at Tonki too! It’s always so crowded though. I haven’t gone since I had my daughter. But now I feel like eating good tonkatsu! Maybe take out?

    • Miwa, the tonkatsu was phenomenal, I hope you get to go back soon! It definitely is always crowded so maybe take-away is a better option? There is something magical about sitting there as the chefs make your freshly prepared tonkatsu however!

    • Hi Kim, thanks for reading! I just stopped by your blog and photography site, you take gorgeous shots. I definitely will try out Maisen in Omotesando then, it’s very close by! I’ll have to let you know how it compares 🙂

  2. Thank you for teaching me about “Tonkatsu, Japanese-style breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets” I had never heard of it, but now I am yearning to try it! Best wishes!

    • Thanks Liz! Tonkatsu really is the perfect fried comfort food when you feel like indulging. I adore your blog, I can’t wait for more of your recipes!

  3. Pingback: Tokyo’s Best Hidden Gem at Sushi Matsue | eatprayjade

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