Renga-Tei
Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu)

Tonkatsu and pork cutlet is extremely popular in Japan, and variations abound. Some people will say thicker cuts of pork are used for tonkatsu. Others say tonkatsu is served with Worcestershire sauce, while pork cutlet is served with demi-glace sauce. Regardless, all tonkatsu and pork cutlet offered in Japan trace their origins to Rengatei, a well-established yōshoku (Japanese-style Western food) restaurant founded as a French restaurant in 1895. In 1899, Motojiro Kida, second-generation proprietor of Rengatei, created the first pork cutlet based on the idea of Italian cotoletta, breadcrumb-coated and deep-fried veal. To create his pork cutlet, Kida cut the pork into thin slices and deep fried them in vegetable oil. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out, Rengatei’s short-staffed chefs garnished the pork cutlets with finely shredded cabbage, which was easy to prepare and paired well with the deep-fried pork. Since then, finely shredded cabbage has been a standard garnish for pork cutlet and tonkatsu. The first pork cutlets were accompanied by breads. Responding to customer demands, Kida began offering cooked rice on a plate for the convenience of diners using a knife and fork. Thus, today’s typical combination of pork cutlet and rice was also born at Rengatei. Rengatei also created other standards of Yōshoku cuisine, such as ebi-furai (fried prawns) and omu-rice (rice-stuffed omelet), loved nationwide.

jeffrey_merrihue
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Location
3 Chome-5-16 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
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Opening times
Mon: 11:15 am - 3:00 pm, 4:40 - 9:00 pm
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