Friends, we were on our second night in Kobe when the tonkatsu craving hit us so hard and we went on a search for the best tonkatsu in Kobe. We headed over to Mint Kobe which is a mall by our hotel and on the 7th floor, we stumbled upon Katsukura.
Katsukura has many locations across Japan and seem to be a popular mid-range tonkatsu restaurant. We saw young families and couples dining in the restaurant. All of the people looked like locals and we were the only tourists. However, we were promptly presented with an English menu and order was easy.
Note that we came here at 5:10pm on a Saturday and we got one of the last seats at a common table. We had reservations at first because we thought it’d be loud but there was plenty of space between us and the other diners. By the time we left at 6:06pm, there was already a lineup outside so plan accordingly if you want to eat here!
In front of you is a variety of sauces that you can mix with sesame to have with your food. If you order a set meal, it comes with free refills of barley rice, cabbage salad, miso soup and pickled veggies. The servers walk around with these refills and are very nice when you flag them down for a refill. So be shy about getting your money’s worth! I had multiple bowls of the miso soup because it was so delicious. This soup had generous amounts of seaweed and didn’t have that weak watery broth that some places serve.
On top of their regular menu, Katsukura has a seasonal menu and our eyes lit up at the yuba croquette (~500 yen/piece) and their seafood steamed egg custard (~700 yen). These were touted as their winter seasonable items. We could eat like, 10 of these each we decided to test them out.
This bowl is meant as a single serving but since we ordered a croquette as well, we weren’t bothered. You can see that there’s a bit of yuzu on top which added a beautiful fragrance to the bowl. The egg custard was silky smooth – it was beautifully steamed. A beautiful delicate broth was beneath along with prawns and thin slices of mushrooms. We came to Katsukura looking for the best tonkatsu in Kobe but we might have found the best egg custard.
Next up is the yuba croquette which has bites of scallops and chrysanthemum in it. Why chrysanthemum? They have a delicate sweet flavor and when mixed with the scallops the effect is tremendous. Inside is a creamy filling which holds together the scallops and chrysanthemum. The outside is delightfully crisp and to find that soft, creamy centre after biting is a treat.
BEST TONKATSU IN KOBE
Katsukura offers a wide range of pork quality/portion sizes so you can find something budget friendly or bougie. We decided to get 150 grams of a lower priced cut of meat and another 150 grams of a higher priced cut of meat. We know some travellers are budget conscious but we think you get what you pay for. The cheaper cut was very obvious to us when we had the expensive cut to compare to. Overall the meat in both sets were coated in crisp Panko that was expertly fried. Both cuts were still delicious – the pork was fresh and had a good fat ratio.
We also got an ebi (prawn) add-on for 300 yen. The breading was delicately thin and the ebi was so plump and juicy. This was definitely worth the extra few yen. You can see from our picture how intricate the breading is and it gave that extra crunch you don’t always get in ebi katsu.
This was a wonderful meal that we still talk about and drool over. Everything was freshly made and exceeded all our expectations. Expect to drop about 5,500 yen on a meal like this but we think it’s worth it. Budget travellers and splurge travellers will both find something in here! This affordable tonkatsu serves delicious food and we highly recommend it. Katsukura has locations all over Japan so whether you’re in Kobe, Tokyo or Osaka – be sure to check them out!
If you want to treat your eyes to more of our Japan eats, follow us over on our Instagram!