While strolling aimlessly around Kawaramachi at night, I noticed an unfamiliar sign that read “Niigata Katsudon” (Niigata pork cutlet served on top of a bowl of rice).
What was it? Why Niigata?
I reflexively asked myself, and walked straight into the restaurant…
Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu｜Local B-Grade Gourmet that has been talked about on TV…Nationwide Expansion Brings a New Page to the Rice Bowl Menu
The name of the restaurant is “Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu. The interior is reminiscent of a downtown diner from the Showa period (1926-1989), with seating for about 20 people. It is neat and subtly modern, but perhaps because it was late at night and there were few customers, it had a somewhat lonely atmosphere.
I was shown to a seat at the counter in front of the kitchen, and as soon as I sat down, I ordered a “two-tiered filet cutlet bowl set (1,220 yen)” from the dinner set. While I was finishing my order and waiting for my meal to be delivered, I decided to Google the connection between Niigata and katsudon on my phone…
The connection between katsudon and Niigata lies in the soy sauce-based sweet and spicy sauce
According to Dr. Google, “katsudon” equals “tare katsudon” in Niigata. Tare-katsudon is a type of katsudon that is seasoned with a unique soy sauce sauce sauce, and is neither the standard egg-boiled pork cutlet bowl nor Nagoya’s sauce katsudon.
“Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu” is a restaurant that serves this tarekatsu-don outside of Niigata. There is a store in Kawaramachi in Kyoto, and seven other stores in Tokyo: Nishi-Kanda (main store), Kichijoji, Shibuya, Nakano, Jimbocho, Hibiya, and Takadanobaba.
The tare-katsudon is a simple bowl of rice topped with a thin, freshly fried pork cutlet dipped in a special sweet and spicy soy sauce sauce. Because it is so simple, the taste is greatly influenced by the quality of the ingredients. Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu seems to be very particular about its ingredients, using the highest quality organic soy sauce, safe “Japanese mochi pork” and rice directly shipped from Niigata.
Two-tiered fillet cutlet rice bowl set: sweetly seasoned with secret sauce that has been aged day by day…you can eat as many pieces as you like without getting sick to your stomach!
Now, just as I was finishing my study, the “two-tiered Hire Katsudon set” I ordered was brought to me…
The first thing that catches the eye is the filet cutlet, which pushes up the lid of the bowl from the inside to create a three-dimensional effect. When the lid is opened, three cutlets cover the rice on the top layer.
As one would expect from a “two-tiered” dish, the cutlet is not the end of the story. When you scrape off the top layer of rice, you will find two more pieces in the middle layer of the bowl. You can enjoy a total of five pieces of filet mignon.
Some may feel that the cutlet is too thin and not enough for their taste, but the lard-crispy fried cutlet is so crispy that you can eat as many pieces as you like without getting sick to your stomach. The secret sauce is sweet in flavor, but it seems to wash away the oil from the batter, so you don’t feel it to be sticky at all.
This secret sauce is poured over and aged daily, just like the sauce used for yakitori and eel. The flavor of the sauce must be gradually increasing day by day. If you want more spiciness, you can order an additional habanero-based hot sauce.
On the other hand, the rice that underlies the pork cutlet is made from 100% Koshibuki rice grown in Niigata. The rice is cooked a little hard so that each grain stands out and is not sticky even when covered with the secret sauce. Enjoy the local B-class gourmet taste that Niigata is proud of until the last grain of rice covered with the sauce while eating the crispy pork cutlet.
Also, as shown below, there is a full take-out menu, so you can enjoy it at home or at work with everyone…
- Katsu bento (pork cutlet) 830 yen
- Double-decker pork cutlet bento: 1,030 yen
- Filet cutlet bento: 1,030 yen
- Nidanzashi Hirekatsu Bento: 1,340 yen
- Shrimp bento: 1,030 yen
- Aimori bento: 980 yen
- Filet cutlet lunchbox: 1,080 yen
- Vegetable cutlet lunchbox 830 yen
- Vegetable filet cutlet lunchbox 930 yen
- Zenmori-katsu bento 1040 yen
- Zenmorimori filet cutlet lunchbox: 1140 yen
- Lunch cutlet bento 610 yen
- Tarekatsu Sandwich 560 yen
Offering a third way to eat katsudon after egg and sauce… Access to the Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu Kyoto Head Shop is a 5-minute walk from the nearest stations, Karasuma and Kawaramachi on the Hankyu Kyoto Line, respectively.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant…
Niigata Katsudon Tarekatsu Kyoto Head Shop.
Address: 44 Shiotani-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone number: 075-341-8350 (Reservations OK by phone)
Business hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-22:00 LO, Sun & Holidays 11:00-21:00 LO
Closed: No holidays
Parking: No parking lot
Credit card payment: Not accepted (cash only)
P.S. If you are looking for a delicious tonkatsu in Kyoto, please stop by this article…