I’m always skeptical when someone tells me they know where to get the “the best” of anything. Taste is subjective, so I’ve often found that what other people feel is “the best sushi” or “the best ramen” does not come close in my book. So when a colleague told me he knew where to get the best “katsu-kare” (Japanese curry topped with deep fried pork) in Tokyo, I was curious but didn’t get my hopes up too high. But after he took me to Mizuno in Akasaka for lunch, I have to agree that this was the best katsu-kare I’ve had!
The curry was perfectly spiced, and its consistency was spot on. You see, as you dunk or spoon the curry onto your pork, some restaurants tend to make it too runny, so it becomes almost soupy when mixed with the rice. Other places make it to thick and it doesn’t stick to the katsu. However, Mizuno has found a near-perfect balance!
The vegetables were also cut just how I like them, in smaller bite-sized pieces that provided texture, and also complimented the taste of the curry. I hate when you get big chunks of carrots and potatoes which distract from the harmony of the stew. The sweet onions and inclusion of mushrooms here added fantastic flavor to the dish.
The other thing I greatly appreciated about Mizuno was the tonkatsu. Many curry places focus too much on the curry and the pork becomes an afterthought. Mizuno is first and foremost a tonkatsu restaurant though, so their pork cutlets are breaded and fried to order, so some out hot and crisp on top of your rice.
Mizuno is a quaint, family run restaurant, with the son in the kitchen, the father expediting, and the mother serving. There’s a ticket machine at the entrance, so you need to purchase your order before walking in.
If you are looking for “the best” katsu-kare in Tokyo, look no further than Mizuno! (Thanks for the introduction, Paul!)