So you love a schnitty, but have you eaten the Japanese version called 'katsu'? Unlike pounded schnitzels, katsu (meaning cutlet) uses thick slabs of meat. The breadcrumbs are different, too: bigger, fluffier flakes known as panko crumbs that create a noisier crunch.
Tonkatsu, or deep-fried pork cutlet, is the most popular katsu. At Chidori in Crows Nest, they’re so committed to maintaining its succulence, they cook the pork in a water bath (sous-vide) before it’s crumbed and deep-fried to golden and tender bliss.
As is Japanese tradition, the tonkatsu is served on an elevated wire rack so the bottom never gets soggy. Genius! It also doubles as a stage, which we think is fair enough given its star billing. Dip your ready-cut tonkatsu into katsu sauce (like a fruity Worcestershire) or savour it with a sprinkle of salt. You'll find the usual accompaniment, finely shredded cabbage, on the side – which is sweet and a refreshing palate cleanse. All this clocks in at $18, or you can upgrade to the set for a fiver, which includes rice, pickles and miso soup.
The tonkatsu is good, but the gyukatsu, or beef cutlet, is even better. Chidori uses Wagyu, and cooks the well-marbled beef to a juicy, perfect pink. There’s a terrific contrast between the soft, buttery meat and the golden fried coating. Dunk it in the sweet soy dressing and just try not to sigh at first bite.
There’s more to Chidori than what you see at first glance, too. For a start, the compact ground floor dining space is t