In my recent trip to Tokyo, I tried tonkatsu at a proper restaurant (and a famous one too, called Maisen) for the first time and it was SO GOOD. The batter was super delicately crispy and tasted nothing like the usual places. I’ve always been interested in tonkatsu but sadly, many others don’t share the same sentiments hence I never had the chance to dine at tonkatsu specialty restaurants. I’ve only ordered tonkatsu at those all in one kind of places and obviously those cannot compare to the real deal. Anyway, my experience at Maisen in Tokyo was too good and I felt I’ve been missing out on the tonkatsu scene in Singapore. Here, we have only a handful of tonkatsu restaurants and Tonkatsu Ma Maison is one of them. They have a few outlets and this one at CHIJMES is called Tonzaemon.
Mille-feuille Katsu set – $23.80++
I thought this was unique so I wanted to try. Instead of the whole loin or fillet, this was thinly sliced pork rolled up in layers, hence the name mille feuille. The result was tender and I liked it.
However, the batter was nowhere as good as Maisen from Tokyo! The batter is the most important aspect of tonkatsu and if isn’t good then there’s pretty much no point in having it. This one was not as fine, so the crispiness was not the most delicate. It’s like excess oil was trapped within the batter. Still, it’s much better than tonkatsu found at non-tonkatsu specialty restaurants.
Hire tonktasu with spring onions set – $22.80++
This item was on the special menu. It’s basically regular pork fillet katsu with chopped spring onions on top. This one makes a fairer comparison to the tonkatsu itself to the one I had in Tokyo since it’s whole meat here, and I’ll say it’s nowhere near. Still, it’s much better than random Japanese restaurants in Singapore.
Hokkaido corn and cream croquette – $4.80++
This item was shown on a separate menu so I’m not sure if this is permanent or seasonal. I hope it is permanent because I liked how creamy and fragrant (with corn) it was!
Overall, the meal was pleasant but my experience from Tokyo has raised the benchmark. For Singapore standards however, this is way better than what you normally find. For unhealthy and guilt ridden food like fried pork, you better not be wasting calories and health points on substandard ones. So I would come here again (Mandarin Gallery since it’s the first outlet perhaps) should I want to have tonkatsu in Singapore.
Overall: Not comparable to Japan but better than normal tonkatsu in Singapore
Tonkatsu & Sake Bar TONZAEMON by Ma Maison
30 Victoria Street
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner : 5:30pm – 10:00pm