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What is “gyuukatsu”?
Gyuukatsu is a dish that suddenly exploded in popularity in the past few years in Japan. It’s a simple dish made of breaded, deep-fried beef, and it’s best described as the beef version of tonkatsu, a famous Japanese dish of breaded, deep-fried pork. It’s fried rare but usually comes out on a small iron plate, so you can keep cooking it to your preferred level. It’s delicious as is, but you can also have it with refreshing flavors like wasabi, soy sauce, or salt, so it’s great for people who don’t like oily foods.
1.Gyuukatsu Motomura [Shibuya]
Gyuukatsu Motomura is the most famous gyuukatsu restaurant. There are about 10 different branches, including in Shinjuku and the main branch in Shibuya, where there’s almost always a line for lunch.
Their most popular dish, the Gyuu Rosu Katsu Mugimeshi Set (1,300 yen) is fried beef loin with boiled barley and rice. It comes with various seasonings, so you can change the flavor to your preference. If you add 100 yen, you can receive tororo (grated yam) and enjoy the delicious combination of yam and rice after a mouthful of gyuukatsu. You won’t be able to put your chopsticks down! It’s near Shibuya Station, so please stop by when you have some time while sightseeing!
[About Gyuukatsu Motomura]
Opening Hours: 10:00AM – 23:00PM
Access: 4 minutes from Shibuya Station’s east exit
Address: Ohno Building #2 B1F, Shibuya 3-18-10, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo（Google Map）
2. Gyuukatsu Aona [Shinjuku]
This restaurant is just as famous as Gyuukatsu Motomura. They use lean meat, which is lower in calories, as well as 100% domestic wasabi, a rarity. The vegetables are fresh and seasonal. They pay close attention to the various choices they offer, such as carefully chosen types of white rice or multi-grained rice.
The gyuukatsu menu is wide, and includes A (1,250 yen) as the standard, O (1,480 yen) which uses Japanese black beef, and Na (1,680 yen) made with marbled black beef. All of them come with rice (white or multigrain), soup, and salad. They also have small sets (half-sizes) and large sets (1.5x size), so you can come here whether you’re not too hungry or if you’re starving.
[About Gyuukatsu Aona]
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 24:00PM
Access: 30 seconds from Shinjuku Station
Address: Shinkyo Building 1F, Kabukicho 1-24-3, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo（Google Map）
3. Kyoto Katsugyu [Shinjuku]
This is a gyuukatsu specialty restaurant from Kyoto. The most recommended dish on their menu is the Tokusei Gyuu Rosu Katsu Zen – Nami (130 g) for 1,280 yen made with carefully selected lean red meat that’s seasoned perfectly to bring out the best natural flavors of the beef. This shop’s biggest characteristic is the soft-boiled egg that can be added as a topping. The creamy egg and the crisp, juicy gyuukatsu is a combination that you can only try here.
The kitchen is right in front of the counter seats, so you can enjoy the sight of the chefs cooking your food. The interior is decorated with warm, cozy wood, so it’s great for people who want to leisurely enjoy gyuukatsu.
[About Kyoto Katsugyu]
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 23:00PM
Access: 3 minutes from JR Shinjuku Station’s west or east exits
Address: Nishi-Shinjuku Building 1F, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-10-19, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo（Google Map）
4. Sirloin Gyuukatsu Ikeda [Ikebukuro]
This restaurant uses 100% sirloin, for juicy, delicious, and soft gyuukatsu. Sirloin has just the right amount of fat and very little dryness, so it’s perfect for gyuukatsu. It’s fried for just a minute, so it comes out blue rare. It’s breaded using their original panko breadcrumbs made with rice flour, so the crisp breading is unique to this shop.
You can get egg merengue as a separate topping. The piping hot gyuukatsu and the fluffy egg merengue is a wonderful combination! It has many fans, so please try this new way of eating gyuukatsu!
[About Sirloin Gyuukatsu Ikeda]
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11:00AM – 15:00PM, weekends and holidays: 11:00AM～16:00PM、17:00PM～20:00PM
Access: 5 minutes from Ikebukuro Station’s east exit
Address: Tokai Castle Kobayashi 1F, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-13-10, Toshima-ku, Tokyo（Google Map）
There are various types of gyuukatsu, from simple dishes to original arrangements. If you’re interested in the latest food trends n Japan, this is definitely something you should try!