Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tonkatsu Raku Tei (Bangkok)

We were feeling like having tonkatsu for lunch. There is a very popular tonkatsu restaurant that is in a shopping center that caters to the Japanese community. There is a Fuji supermarket, Japanese DVD rental shops, Japanese pastry shots, Japanese restaurants, etc. Parking is horrendous on weekends because tons of Japanese are shopping and eating at this particular center.

The restaurant is located at the basement of the shopping center. Actually, basement is not the correct word, because basement connotes that the restaurant is inside the building and underground. But its not, the restaurant is on the lower level of the street (I hope that makes sense). The decor is very minimal with pearly white coloured walls with spot lights that give warmth to the room. There are simple wooden chairs and tables. Each table has the usual condoments that a katsudon restaurant should have; two types of katsudon sauce (but we have not idea what the difference was after doing a taste test), sesame seeds and chili powder.

For a restaurant that specializes in tonkatsu; I am amazed at the number of types tonkatsus that is available on the menu. For people who do not know; Tonkatsu is simply deep fried pork. Sounds so simple but the way the Japanese make it is heavenly. There are two types of pork; one has fat on it and the other type does not. Then there is tonkatsu just deep fried plain, or filled with spinach or cheese or both. I think you get what I mean. The choices are limitless.

I always order the normal tonkatsu set (the one with no fat). The set came with an unbelievable amount of food and condoments. The set came with sesame seeds, pickled vegetables, cabbage slaw and miso soup. The set even allows you to eat as much rice and cabbage slaw as you want. The star of the show is the tonkatsu and we get about 400 grams of meat. That is a huge amount of meat. The tonkatsu is always perfectly deep fried to a golden brown here. The tonkatsu was crispy on the out but so moist & juicy on the inside. I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds on the rice. The combination of the sesame rice and the tonkatsu is wonderful.

If you eat as much as I do, this place is the place for you. The service is a bit slow and sometimes not attentive. This time around, the waitress forgot to give the kitchen our order, so the outcome was that the food of the table that came after us arrived first. I was not very happy since I was starving. My mouth was watering looking at my neighbors tonkatsu. Other than that, prices are reasonable for the amount of food you get an the location is also great.

b level
99/9 Sukhumvit soi 39
tel.: 02 260 1538

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