Tokyo Table Trip

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"Chawanbu," one of the most popular kappo restaurants in Tokyo, which unfortunately closed last year as the owner, Mr. Buzawa, joined "Kurogi," a popular restaurant managed by his senior when training at "Kyoaji," made a come-back as a tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) restaurant.
The chef and owner, Mr. Buzawa, decided to wear two hats which would be unthinkable for a normal person, deep-frying tonkatsu here at "Chawanbu" during the day and displaying his splendid knife-wielding skills at the counter of the famous restaurant "Kurogi" at night.

The menu consists of a single dish, the tonkatsu set meal.
The style of the restaurant is an extremely unique one, in which the customers, upon being seated, look at the cuts of pork that are prepared on the counter and point at their preferred cut.
While the tonkatsu is being carefully deep-fried with pure rice-bran oil, finely-chopped cabbage is first served, and it is wonderfully juicy and sweet.
The homemade sauce that is warmed to the temperature of human skin before serving so that it goes with the tonkatsu contains the gentle sweetness of vegetables, creating a refined flavor.

The tonkatsu, which is left for a few minutes after being dee-fried with oil, comes in an extra-large serving of 320 grams.
The meat, which is cut thinly, similar to the famous restaurant in Asakusa, "Sugita," is rare in the center.
The pork, which is encased in a beautiful light golden color, has a light and crispy texture, and it is mysterious how the large tonkatsu exceeding 300 grams manages to enter my stomach without any stress.
(I was surprised by how I was properly hungry by the evening even though I ate such a huge tonkatsu for lunch.)

The rice that is served in a lidded rice bowl glistens and has a sweet fragrance, and the miso soup with deep-fried tofu, which is served by dissolving the miso for each customer, is filled with umami, richly fragrant, and has a flavor that relaxes the soul.
I was told that "it can go with the tonkatsu as well as the rice," so the curry sauce with egg yolk that is served in the latter half has a mild umami flavor, bringing the satisfaction of the set meal to the next level.

Amazing, excluding the tonkatsu, customers are free to have as many servings of cabbage, pickles, miso soup, rice, and curry sauce as they would like.
The biggest surprise was that, having tasted the various side dishes that fully displayed the skills of the owner, who is an extremely well-known chef in the city, the amount that I had to pay was a mere 3,240 yen.
"With Manger in Osaka and Ahbon in Kobe, the wave of the dish called tonkatsu is currently rising throughout Japan."
The owner, Mr. Buzawa, says this with a lively expression.

While I felt that the red cuts of the pork that was used were a little lacking in umami, if this problem is solved, it is likely that the day when "Chawanbu" reigns as the best tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo will not be far.
When visiting, a reservation is required.
A wonderful restaurant that I would like to recommend to not just fans of tonkatsu but fans of Japanese cuisine from all over the world has once again been born.

◆Sharikimon Chanwabu
Address: 3-22 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3356-1680
Hours: 11:00-/12:00-/13:00(3rounds a day)
Budget: 3,000-3,999 yen
Closed: Irregular holidays

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guest

Hi Saito San, may i know if Chawanbu requires a booking for tonkatsu lunch? Given that Narikura is now impossible to book thanks to Omakase, how would this place compare to Tonta, which is also highly rated on Tabelog.

11 months ago

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Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Someone on the Narikura page here, has brought up, how their twitter mentions lunch openings starting October 20. That has not been confirmed as of yet.

In case you want a general description, I've had 2 types of tonkatsu at Narikura. The 'chateaubriand' was this hulking piece of meat. It was really quite soft, juicy, liquid bursting everywhere, and really fatty and tender. The flaky exterior seems really unique.

I have no knowledge of Chawanbu or Tonta.
I've tried Marugo and Tonki, which are also rated up there.

11 months ago
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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

If you are comparing simply based on the taste of the tonkatsu, I think that Tonta would be declared the winner, but if you are thinking in terms of the level of satisfaction you would get from the meal itself, including unique ways of enjoying tonkatsu, I feel that Chawanbu would be the better place. Chawanbu does require reservations on weekends, but I have heard that on weekdays, there are some days that you can just walk in. In any case, Chawanbu has become more and more popular recently, so you'd best err on the safe side and make a booking.

11 months ago
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guest

You can usually get a seat on the same day - better to call ahead to be sure. I would also recommend Katsukami for a sensational tonkatsu experience you can book.

10 months ago

guest

Saito-san, what is your view of its taste compared to marugo, maruichi or aoki?

about 1 year ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Regarding the umami of the pork itself, I think it might be a little inferior to the veteran famous restaurants in the city such as Marugo and Aoki.
However, I feel that the various side dishes, such as the finely-sliced cabbage, tasty miso soup, and spicy curry, are of such high standards that they more than make up for that.
I think tonkatsu fans will not lose out by visiting it once.

about 1 year ago

guest

How many days in advance would one need to reserve? What's their reservation policy?

about 1 year ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

They don't have a specific policy right now. you better just try calling them.

about 1 year ago
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guest

Thank Leo.

No walk-ins allowed?

about 1 year ago
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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

On weekdays, I think you can walk-in. But, still booking in advance would be preferred.

about 1 year ago

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Another new Tonkatsu restaurant representing Tokyo has been born.

about 1 year ago

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