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Porker Hong Kong, tonkatsu
Photograph: Courtesy Porker

Where to find the best tonkatsu in Hong Kong

These restaurants are a cut(let) above the rest

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Ramen this, sushi that… tonkatsu never gets the credit it deserves, and frankly, we’re sick of it! Everybody talks about where to find Japanese food like gyoza, yakitori, and oodles of noodles in every shape and size, but rarely is tonkatsu ever a part of the discussion. We figured it was high time that the humble fried pork cutlet had its moment in the sun, so we’ve rounded up some of the best our city has to offer for your enjoyment. By Ethan Lam

RECOMMENDED: We love tonkatsu, but Hong Kong also has its own delicious rendition of pork chop rice that is definitely worth drooling over.

Where to find the best tonkatsu in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Taikoo Shing

An oversea expansion of the famous Ginza Bairin restaurant from Tokyo that was established in 1927, Ginza Bairin has been in Hong Kong for a hot minute. Ever since opening in 2009, they’ve opened and closed branches all around the city before finally settling in Taikoo Shing. Staying afloat in Hong Kong’s ever-changing restaurant scene for just over a decade is impressive enough, and a testament to the quality of their product. While you can get your hands on a regular pork cutlet here, what sets Ginza Bairin apart from their contemporaries are their Kurobuta (black pork) offerings. Kurobuta pork is fattier, more flavourful, and more tender than standard pork, and for a modest price increase, you can upgrade most dishes here to use Kurobuta pork instead. If you get there but then realize you’re not quite in the mood for pork, try their fried beef cutlet instead.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Admittedly, tonkatsu is only half the story at Tonkichi, who fry up king prawns, scallops, and oysters in addition to elite cuts of pork. While you can get away with a relatively affordable meal here  – a deep-fried pork fillet and plain rice cost $82 – this is the place to be if you’re in the mood to splurge. Trying to impress a date? Opt for the premium two-person set ($728), which includes all the aforementioned fried delights in addition to a mini sashimi starter. Dining for one? Then look no further than the Kagoshima premium thick-cut pork loin, which will set you back $278 before you even add any accompaniments.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central

Descending the flight of stairs into Porker feels like stumbling upon a hidden treasure. The stylish, modern restaurant occupies a compact basement space that almost feels like it shouldn’t exist, and is constantly packed to the brim with customers. The star of the show is definitely the full house set ($210 during lunch hours, $230 at night), which alongside the standard rice, miso soup, and salad, comes with a cheesy cutlet that oozes with melted mozzarella, as well as cuts of aged pork sirloin and tenderloin. There’s also an excellent range of drinks on offer, particularly saké.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsuen Wan
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This family-friendly Japanese restaurant has everything from hot pot to robatayaki, including a small-but-excellent selection of tonkatsu offerings. It’s honestly a surprise to us that tonkatsu isn’t paired up with udon more often, but Toriyamana is one of the few restaurants to do just that, serving up a fried Kurobuta pork chop with perfectly al dente handmade udon ($85). Of course, the standard choice of tonkatsu with rice ($85) is also available if desired.

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Saboten
  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay
Saboten’s claim to fame is their mille-feuille style tonkatsu, thinly sliced pork wrapped around itself in layers. It’s something that few – if any others at all – tonkatsu restaurants in the city offer, and the unique texture truly makes Saboten stand out from the rest of the crowd. Other highlights include their bitesize tenderloin and chicken rice, which can come either bathed in lightly scrambled eggs or a rich curry sauce. Free rice, miso soup, and salad refill only sweeten the deal.
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Chek Lap Kok

Yes, we know that we sound crazy for saying this, but hear us out first! Ever since Saboten’s branch in the departures food court closed a few years ago, there has been no way to get your tonkatsu fix before taking off. And while it’s true that Airport Izakaya isn’t actually located inside the airport, it does come pretty close. The unfortunate news is that their tonkatsu, stellar as it is, is on the pricier end of the spectrum compared to other options on this list. The Kurobuta tonkatsu will set you back a hefty $328 – although it can be significantly cheaper as a part of their lunch set. If you ever find yourself suddenly overcome with a soul-crushing need for deep-fried pork after checking your luggage in, this is definitely the place to go.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Mong Kok

Sure, Michelin-starred restaurants and fine dining are great. But at the end of the day, your heart (and arteries) still find comfort in friendly neighbourhood joints because it’s modest, consistent, and unpretentious. Understandably, convenience is often king when it comes to food, which is why Ca-Tu-Ya is so popular with students and office workers. A chain restaurant straight from Japan, it’s cheap and cheerful, and for what you’re paying, you'll be spoilt for choice. Depending on what you’re feeling, you can have your fried pork cutlet plain, or smothered in tonkatsu sauce, Japanese curry, or silky scrambled eggs. You can even pick the size of your cutlet according to how hungry you are – a single 80g or 120g pork loin, or two 80g pieces. For added viewing pleasure, try to grab a seat near the kitchen window so you can watch your meal being prepared.  

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