I’ve never been crazy about tonkatsu. Well, yes, it’s hard to go wrong with breaded and fried pork, but it’s not a dish I typically crave for. However, that has now changed, thanks to Tonkatsu ENbiton in VivoCity.
The 46-seater restaurant is the first in Singapore to offer “yuzu pork“, which contrary to popular belief, does not refer to pork prepared with yuzu juice.
“Yuzu pork” actually comes from pigs reared in Kagoshima, Japan; they are fed local yuzu, which yields tender meat with higher melting point of fat (hence the rich umami flavour), along with a good dose of vitamin C, pectin, and citric.
Each piece of pork is evenly coated with panko (breadcrumbs) before being deep-fried, and then served as a complete set meal (from S$15) alongside pickles, tonjiru (pork and vegetable miso soup), and free-flow Japanese rice and cabbage and argula salad, which you can douse in your choice of sauce.
Although there are two types of “yuzu pork” to choose from — the richer and fattier rosu katsu (pork loin) and the leaner hire katsu (pork fillet) — we highly recommend the former.
Keep it simple with the Yuzu Rosu Katsu Set (S$22), boasting crispy, succulent pork loin marbled with chunks of unctous fat.
As promised, it was juicy, tender, and packed with tons of flavour. Even when eaten cold.
You are encouraged to dip the tonkatsu into the tangy, aromatic, and oh-so good combination of tonkatsu sauce and roasted sesame seeds (which you can grind up at the table) — let’s just say I was hooked.
Alternatively, you can spice up your yuzu rosu katsu with Miso (S$24) or Oroshi (S$24), a refreshing grated daikon and yuzu-ponzu dressing that served as the perfect foil for the fatty meat.
If you’ve seen the viral hot stone gyukatsu all over social media, you’ll be pleased to know that Tonkatsu ENbiton is serving up their very own rendition prepared using award-winning Japanese A4/A5 grade Miyazaki beef.
Think luscious, perfectly marbled melt-in-mouth slices of wagyu coated with panko, lightly fried till medium-rare. Each plate of gyukatsu is served with a teppan hot stone, so that you can further grill the meat to your preferred doneness.
This means there’s no need to travel to the famous Gyukatsu Motomura in Tokyo for your gyukatsu fix — for now.
We highly recommend searing the beef for just a few seconds on each side, because no one wants overcooked wagyu!
But if you’re someone who likes your meat rare to medium-rare (like me), you’ll probably also enjoy the gyukatsu as is.
If you’re in the mood for seafood, look no further than the Kaisen Mix Fry Kuro Kare Set (S$27), assorted deep-fried seafood (prawn, Japanese oyster, scallop, salmon) with a charcoal black curry.
Regular tonkatsu and curry go hand in hand, but sweet and fresh seafood takes it to a whole ‘nother level.
Having just finished The Curry Songs, a severely underrated Japanese series on Netflix with a curry-obsessed protagonist, this certainly hit the spot!
The curry was pretty straightforward, with a good balance of sweet and savoury, but I would’ve loved to see a spicy version on the menu.
Need even more convincing?
From 17 to 19 May 2023, you can drop by and enjoy the signature Yuzu Rosu Katsu Set at just S$15, instead of the usual S$22 price tag, while stocks last! BRB, making dinner plans now.
A second outlet will be opening at Causeway Point, so North-siders can look forward to enjoying some seriously solid “yuzu pork” tonkatsu and wagyu gyukatsu.
Till then, don’t bother waiting for your tonkatsu cravings to arise and just head down to VivoCity ASAP!
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Photos by Christabel Tan