Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Maisen ♥ ♥ ♥


I don’t even like pork.

What brings me to this Shrine of Swine is not the tonkatsu it’s widely renowned for, but the curiosity of what a former public bath house turned restaurant looks like.


maisen tokyoBar Area


maisen tokyo  Main Dining Room


Apparently, the owners of Maisen did too much renovation work  in converting this place into a restaurant that, except for the high ceilings, there is no reminiscence whatsoever of a place where their ancestors used to bathe.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to drown my disappointment in these tonkatsu sauces.


maisen tokyoSweet, Mustardy, Spicy


maisen tokyo kurobuta katsu Kurobuta Hire Katsu

Not really into pork, much less pork fat, I order hire (pork fillet) katsu, the leaner cut with less of the flab. With zero enthusiasm, I drizzle some tonkatsu sauce over a cutlet and take a bite. And I stop dead. OMG!!! Could this be??? This piggy is so tender, so juicy and flavorful! Up until that first bite, I never knew pork could taste this good. Covered in light, crisp and flaky breadcrumbs, this tonkatsu is not at all greasy and does not give that heavy, satiated feeling even after you polish off the whole plate. I muster every ounce of self-control not to order a second serving.

And the sauces, sweet and tangy combination of apples, tamarind, worcestershire, cinnamon (and pureed plums, I believe), are bold and arresting. I could eat cardboard with Maisen’s sauces and still think it’s delicious.


maisen tokyo katsudon Kurobuta Rosu Katsudon

And for the less health conscious people, black hog rosu (pork loin) katsudon. As if the flabbier rosu cut is not fatty enough, cholesterol-laden  eggs are generously spread over this pork bowl. Compared to hire katsu, rosu meat is a bit more tender it feels like it has been beaten a hundred thousand times.

Although this eggy, porky katsu bowl is oishiikatta, when I come back to Maisen, and I God knows I will, it is still the tonkatsu I will be having.

How many plates, I’d rather not tell.

They say Kurobuta is the Kobe beef of pork. I say Maisen’s black hog tonkatsu is the testament to that.


Maisen まい泉: 4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

東京都渋谷区神宮前4-8-5. +81-3-3470-007

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