Like any good lil fat girl, I love fried things. And something about katsu, Japanese fried cutlets of nearly anything, just rubs me exactly the right way. The airy crispy outside and what feels like little oil/grease makes me go “Mmmm…” like no other. Really, truly. I search far and wide, high and low, for amazing katsu, and have found it on occasion. I mean, honestly, you can’t really mess it up too badly for me, since I just love almost anything deep fried, but it can definitely be better sometimes than others.
A few weeks ago, my coworker Orzo had promised to accompany me to Mitsuwa in- *gasp* New Jersey. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say, he messed up and owed me (shopping with a girl is generally considered punishment for guys… though I don’t know why!). The reason I wanted to go? Mitsuwa is a huge Japanese superstore, and purportedly had many items to supplement my bento addiction.
PLUS… my secret fatty-fatty-boom-batty reason?
Authentic. 100%. delicious. katsu!!! in the food court.
Once it was lunchtime, I barely glanced around the food court before heading straight to Katsuhama, the katsu place. There was a glass case (I should have taken pictures, but I was starving and there were a load of people around) behind which rested beautiful appropriations of what your tray would look like if you ordered this item, with an item number and the price. I was thrilled that nearly everything was under $10 and came with gobs of stuff, including Asian style potato salad, which I ADORE.
The above tray of food cost me $8.35 in entirety.
And it was absolutely delicious, scrumptious and yummy. The Berkshire pork tenderloin (for that’s what that is!) was succulent, well breaded and cooked to perfection, and the soup was warm, soothing and clear, not too oily nor salty. I skipped the rice, but was well sated without it. The pickles were a bit strange to me – not quite the right tang I look for- but otherwise, the entire tray brought me much pleasure.
I have since gone back and tried items from other places in the food court, but still find Katsuhama to be the hands-down best value, most filling and best tasting. (I haven’t tried the ramen yet, however.)
(In order to get here from the NYC area, one can go to Port Authority and take a shuttle bus for $2 each way. It leaves about every half hour and takes about a half hour, dropping you off directly in the shopping center parking lot.)
And yes, I did find a decent amount of bento items at Mitsuwa (separate post about bento items to follow).
Yvo says: Love love love authentic Japanese food, and love fried food, so this place is a three thumbs up from me! Super cheap, super yummy!