I went back to Katsuretsu-an this weekend, this time at the branch in The Diamond, one of the 50 shopping malls attached to Yokohama Station. The first time I went, I ordered the ヒレ, which is named after the store. This time I went with a ロース cut, and I think it was the best ロース I’ve ever had. The ヒレ was the thinnest of the three katsu I tried back in January. The ロース isn’t much thicker, especially compared with cuts from other stores, but it was the cleanest ロース cut I’ve ever seen, and I think this is evident even from the camera in my phone:
Generally with ロース cuts there are bits of fat all through the pork, some of them kind of tough and rubbery. This cut, however, was perfect; all of the fat was on one side, and the rest of the meat was lean and moist. The batter had been fried perfectly, nice and crisp but not too oily. The fat had been almost liquefied within the batter, so it basically melted in my mouth. I hate that sensation of chewing rubbery fat, so I generally order ヒレ, but at Katsuretsu-an, ロース is definitely the way to go.
Sometimes there’s a man – I won’t say a hero, ’cause what’s a hero? – but sometimes there’s a man. And I’m talking about the Master here – sometimes there’s a man who, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there – and that’s the Master at Jintei in Koriyama:
I debated whether or not to make a video of Jintei for a while. It’s a small yakikatsu restaurant, and I wouldn’t wish even one unpleasant customer on the Master (not that I could cause him to get any more attention than he already has). I finally decided to make the video for a couple reasons. First, in twenty years I’ll want to look back at this video and just go, Damn, we ate some tasty katsu at that place. And second, the Master is well-equipped to deal with the attention of any unruly customers, whether they be Japanese or foreigner. Regular customers are well aware that the restaurant’s queue runs on the honor system. There are benches, groups of chairs, and many people even wait in their cars if the weather is uncomfortably hot or cold. Noobz will peek in the door or even ask the Master what the deal is – wtf is everyone doing just chilling outside? – but he always just replies that he takes customers in the order they arrived. There’s no need to form an actual line, the Master knows.
(This last time I went, a Japanese couple pulled up in a big van and parked blocking several cars in the lot. The guy was clearly starving – he had his wife jump out and figure out what the deal was. There were several groups of people waiting, but after looking inside, this lady camped out right next to the door, probably thinking she’d be the next one in. Her beau finally got out and went in himself, probably convinced that the other half dozen of us were just sitting outside in the nice weather. The Master came out of the restaurant, the first time I’ve ever seen him do that, and personally assured that the next people in line got in ahead of them.)
I kept the video text-free because anything I could write would only detract from the katsu, so I’ll try to keep this post short, too. Just take this one piece of advice – unless you live within walking distance of this place, the only two items on the menu you should even consider ordering are the “Jintei Special Pork” or the “Jintei Special Chicken.” (The actual Japanese names for these are 仁亭凡焼きかつ and 仁亭チキン焼きかつ, and they are on the far right of the menu, which is printed on a fan.) These are the yakikatsu, either chicken or pork, which are stuffed with cheese, a slice of ham, and leaf of basil. They inspired my love of the katsu.
(Oh, and one more thing – the correct salad dressing ratio is two scoops of the creamy dressing for every one of the dark one with peanuts.)