THE CRISPIEST KATSU EVER

Don’t call yourself one of the Japanese foods’ fans if you never tried Katsu at Katsusei.

Located at two of prestigious malls in Jakarta, Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia, Katsusei just opened their third outlets in Gedung Sentral Senayan 1. And to introduced their latest menus and Special Lunch Set, fellow medias and bloggers were invited to their outlet in Plaza Indonesia, to have lunch with the owner, Sylvia Gunawan (she’s also the founder of MIKA Japanese Bistro which I’ve previously featured here).

Known for their delicious and crunchiest cutlets, Katsusei is a franchise Japanese restaurant from Utsunomiya, Japan and the first and only katsu-specialized Japanese restaurant in Indonesia. “We made our own fresh panko (that’s bread crumbs, btw) at least twice a week to keep the crunchiness of our katsu. Even the vegetables were cut one hour before lunch time to keep them fresh when served. And try our rice, it’s the best quality of Japanese rice,” said Sylvia during the press event last Wednesday.

First, we were served with the side dish, Atuyagi Tamago. Steamed egg rolls come in layers, served cold with shoyu and horse radish. The unique flavors of sweetness from the eggs and saltiness of shoyu made this side dish a good starter before the main course. Then came the hot soup, Miso. No fishy taste and smell, nice soft seaweeds and fluffy tofu made this soup a warm welcome for the long awaited crispy cutlets. What I love about Japanese culinary is their tradition. And Katsusei offers the authentic recipes right down to the DIY making of their secret recipe sauce, Tonkatsu. Small bowl and crushed stick from wood was provided to grind our own Tonkatsu sauce. First, get some sesame seeds, grind with circling motion then add the sauce just the way you like it. I enjoy doing it and hearing the crunchy sound of sesame seeds being grind. And the crunchiness didn’t stop there, as the main course arrived. Mixed Chicken and Shrimp Fry served with lemon slices arrived at our table, looking delicious and so golden, just like those food plastics I’ve seen when I entered the restaurant. Served with the DIY Tonkatsu Sauce, I can feel the crunch (thanks to the fresh Panko) as I bite and the softness of the chicken and shrimp inside. It was like a blast of flavors, a combination of sour, sweet and savory in a bite. And even though I’m not a big fan of white rice, I really love Katsusei’s rice. It wasn’t as sticky as other Japanese restaurants I’ve tried, just a great taste of white rice. I believe because the Japanese people are so picky when it comes to their rice. “All the authenticity of Katsusei’s menu are supervised by our Japanese Head Chef, Mr. Takeshi Kato, so the quality was unquestionable,” add Sylvia.

Another Japanese tradition, after the rich meals, we were served with a complimentary glass of hot Hojicha Tea. They said, it was good to dissolve all the fats from fried food. Even though all the cutlets were fried with Canola Oil (100% fat free), we still want more fat free, right? After sipping the rather bitter but very nice tea, desserts are coming. I picked the Coffee panna cotta, simply because I love coffee after meals. It was a really delightful food adventure day for me. 

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