Japanese katsu places usually find a cult following if they are any good. These deep fried pork cutlets are even said to be good for you if fried under the right conditions using the right ingredients. Hip Katsu, part of the Hip Sushi chain, has the zen-cosy interiors of Zuma with the fun dining experience of Butagumi Tonkakatsu – all this inside the Gateway Arcade.
Skip the starters as the ones we had (chilled tomato in soya onion dressing, $28, foie gras over radish, $38) were sub par at best. Go straight for the Japanese Miyazaki pork katsu ($160), their thickest cutlet, around 1.5cm. This came fried in fresh breadcrumbs to a golden crisp, served with miso soup, udon noodles or rice, shredded cabbage and a bowl of katsu sauce (ketchup, mustard, garlic and lots of Worcestershire sauce). But even its thickness and belt of protective fat couldn't keep this cutlet moist. It wasn't overcooked, but the dryness seemed to come from a lack of freshness in the meat.
Now is a good time to tell you their pork comes from Japan, US and Canada as it appears that somewhere in the shipping process the tenderness has been lost. Our US pork sirloin ($148) was also on the dry side. It's really too bad because the setting is well worth a repeat visit. If only they could get the technique right. Hopefully Tonkatsu eatery Ginza Bairin, reviewed in the next issue, will prove better. Angie Wong
Shop 2608-10, Level 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2601 6238. Daily 11am-11pm. Meal for two: around $400.