Japanese food has always been a passion of mine, hence the frequent trips to Japan and my never ending quest for good Japanese food in Singapore is no surprise haha! In Tampines Mall near my house… There is a Japanese Tonkatsu Restaurant called Tonkichi!
Tonkichi has always been a regular haunt, before we discovered Tonzaemon (Read its Review here!), but my mother is a member of the group of restaurants which Tonkichi is a part of. Thus, on her birthday month, she gets 20% off the total bill!
Their menu is pretty diverse, ranging from Tonkatsu Sets, Katsu Dons to Sushi and Sashimi. But, the obvious thing to order is the Tonkatsu Set! But, there is a choice of Rosu (Loin) or Hire (Tenderloin). The Rosu is fattier and more flavourful, but the Hire is lest fatty and more tender.
When you order a Tonkatsu Set, you get a pestle and mortar with Sesame seeds. The idea is, that you grind it down into smaller pieces, and you sprinkle it, with sauce if you like, on your rice. It gives a slight crunch to the rice… And it gives you something to do while waiting for your Tonkatsu Set (It could take a while).
Like most Japanese Restaurants, my meal starts with Hot Tea. Slightly too bitter for my taste, and the colour is too dark for Japanese-style Tea.
This is their classic Rosu Tonkatsu Set ($24.00). The rice was slightly mushy and the miso soup was slightly salty. The cabbage would have been more chilled. The Rosu however, was pretty good!
With a layer of fat to keep it moist (especially at the ends), the Rosu was tender but lacking a bit in flavour. The batter however, remained crispy evwn after a while, a triumph by itself in my mind!
Another more ‘eggy’ option would to order the Katsu Don or even the Katsu Toji Set, where the Rosu or Hire is first fried, and then stewed in a egg and sweet sauce stew.
You can also add-on some items like Chawanmushi or Curry, and upgrade your miso soup to one with more ingredients like Carrots, Onions and Radish.
Another choice would be to add on a protein, like Oyster or additional Pork. A interesting choice would be the Fish ($7.00), which was flaky and soft.
At the end of your meal, you will get fruits, usually Watermelon or Orange. A nice gesture, as many restaurants don’t bother with such a formality. Unfortunately though, the Orange were slightly sour…
In conclusion, Tonkichi is a strong competitor in the Tonkatsu Restaurant war… But unfortunately, Tonzaemon still remains as my favourite Tonkatsu Restaurant, their price points are quite similar too. But, since Tonkichi is still not too bad and has rather big restaurants scattered all around Singapore… They are worth a try…
Tonkichi Japanese Restaurant
4 Tampines Central 5
Tampines Mall #03-26/27
View a full list of outlets here!