Clarissa and I had dinner last night at Katsuya! Katsuya is a Japanese restaurant that serves Japanese fusion tonkatsu located on Yonge Street north of Finch in North York. According to the restaurant, “Katsuya is a modern take on the traditional Japanese Cutlet House.” “Katsu” means ‘Japanese cutlet’ and “Ya” means ‘house’ in Japanese. They serve authentic homemade Japanese katsu with a variety of signature sauces and their fresh breadcrumbs are baked daily.
I was really excited and looking forward to trying out Katsuya after seeing photos of it from fellow foodies on Instagram and hearing about how good it was from Ken.
Katsuya has a private parking lot (small) but if you arrive early enough, you may be able to snag a spot. Otherwise, they have a rear parking lot too.
When I got here at 6 p.m., the place had a few patrons but it quickly filled up completely around 7-8 p.m. Clarissa said that every time that she and her husband passed by Katsuya, it was packed and people would have to wait for a table. I was really glad that we didn’t have to wait at all for our table.
Indeed, Katsuya had numerous choices and varieties of katsus! They had original, spicy, topped with chili, with curry, garlic, and more, AND you could choose from pork loin, pork tender, chicken, cheese, double cheese, or fish katsu too (wow!). I decided to try the Katsuya Original with a cheese katsu. Clarissa ordered the Japanese Katsu (with a pork tender katsu I believe).
Each tonkatsu combo came with unlimited miso soup, rice, and cabbage. The fact that we could refill on soup, rice, or cabbage was really impressive (and uncommon)!
Our orders didn’t take long to arrive. The staff were really friendly here. When I received my order, I wasn’t entirely sure that mine was the cheese katsu since I didn’t see any cheese in it. After I asked the server about it, she double checked with the the chef who came out to reassure me that mine had cheese by prying apart my katsu to show me. Oops! Haha.
My Katsuya Original contained house sauce made with over five seasonal fruits, ten vegetables, and six organic herbs. Indeed, the house sauce was really tasty and even Clarissa commented on its deliciousness. I really liked the pork katsu since it was very crispy, tasted “light”, and thinly sliced. It actually reminded me of the katsu I had recently in Hokkaido since it wasn’t heavy or dense. The breading was even a little “fluffy” too.
I tried a piece of the Japanese Katsu that Clarissa ordered too and liked it. Hers was an original katsu without sauce. The katsu sat on a metal rack and there was also a pestle and mortar for her for grind up the white sesame seeds (it reminded me of the ramen from Ramen Isshin)!
I appreciated how the staff let us stay way beyond the time needed for us to finish our meal. We were sitting there catching up after eating and they were more than happy to provide us with refills of water throughout the night. I liked the environment of Katsuya too; modern and very comfortable.
I would love to return to try out their other varieties of katsu, including the “double cheese katsu” that the server commented might taste a little sour due to the cream cheese. I guess when I return, I will be able to find out what it tastes like! 🙂
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December 23, 2017:
I came back to Katsuya! We arrived at around 5 p.m. on a Saturday and there were already people dining inside! This time, I ordered the Curry Katsu with Double Cheese. It was indeed very cheesy within the katsu. The curry sauce was pretty good too. Just like last time, the rice, miso soup, and salad were refillable. I asked for a second round of miso soup because I found it so hot and comforting. It wasn’t salty either and I didn’t find myself very thirsty after the two soups which was a good sign. I also wasn’t able to finish my portion this time so I took the katsu strips home.
Ken ordered the Spicy Garlic Katsu with the original Katsuya sauce. The garlic one was also really good! There were large slices of garlic on it and the garlic was very fragrant. (It wasn’t actually very spicy.)