My cousin does not live in Edmonton, but that does not stop her from seeking out new local restaurants for our family to try. She suggested I try out Katsuten because it had great reviews and unique katsu options – they have one stuffed with cheese!
I can’t resist a new restaurant, especially ones that are locally owned and a family run joint. This restaurant is in the SW of Calgary and is located in a little strip mall. I love locations like these because its easy to find parking and easy to get to. I really appreciate when a restaurant has great parking options. The restaurant is on the smaller side, but this is also something I love. I love finding little restaurants that are tucked away, yet they are still popular and thriving. There is a Ramen restaurant in Vegas that my family loves, it is tiny, always packed, but definitely worth the wait (blog post to come!). Similarly, this restaurant is on the smaller size but its size is definitely not a deterrent.
Now for the part I am sure you are here to read about: the food! We ordered the Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbap, Katsu Don, and Cheese Katsu. Each meal comes with Miso Soup and rice in the bowl or as a separate dish, depending on what Katsu dish you order. Katsu is breaded and Katsuten uses bread crumbs from the Glamorgan Bakery (a Calgary favourite)! Which is awesome that this local restaurant is supporting another local business.
The Katsu Don is a breaded pork loin cutlet with egg, onion and green onion on rice. I love this dish because its flavourful and the crispness of the katsu breading is absolutely perfect. Sometimes when I order a katsu dish at another restaurant it can be soggy
from the heat of the dish when you serve it, however, this dish was not one of those instances. My family likes to refer to these kinds of dishes as “bowl food” not because of the dish it is served in but because you can mix everything together and have a piece of each part of the dish with every bite. This works best with dishes that the flavours and textures work together. The crisp texture of the katsu breading with the soft rice worked perfectly together. In addition, the pork and toppings were not too salty and did not have an oily aftertaste that breaded meat sometimes has, so the whole dish is enjoyable from the top of the bowl to the bottom of the bowl.
The Cheese Katsu, a breaded pork loin cutlet filled with cheese, was not served in a bowl but had a side of rice come with the dish when it was served. Just like the Katsu Don, the breading was perfectly crispy and not oily. It was such a unique taste to have the cheese stuffed in the middle. It reminded me of a chicken cordon bleu – but so much better! If you
are looking for something more traditional, I would order the regular Katsu but if you are looking for something different try the cheese katsu or another Katsu dish with a unique twist. Other unique options are a breaded pork loin with fish flakes, mayo, and okonomi sauce or the deep-fried potato cake with Japanese curry!
We also ordered another dish that was not breaded. The Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbap is another dish with beef and veggies served over rice. I mixed the bowl together with the hot sauce they provided and, once again, this was a “bowl food” winner! The veggies were
fresh and the beef was not dry and not too chewy! The dish is also served in a regular bowl, however, I ordered the hot stone bowl which is a stone bowl that is heated. The bowl remains hot as you eat so it is important to continuously move the rice around so it does not become too crispy and stick to the edges. Overall the dish was tasty and a satisfying option if you are not looking for something breaded.
I also ordered a side of kimchi. I love the spicy pickled flavour of kimchi but have yet to find a kind available at a grocery store that I like. Although all kinds may taste generally the same there are definitely some that are better than others. I am still on the hunt for some great kimchi that I can take home (please let me know if you can recommend any brands!), but for now I can head over to Katsuten for some amazing kimchi to satisfy my cravings! The kimchi has a perfect blend of pickled tart flavour and spicy without overpowering everything. I even ate some pieces with a spoonful of my bibimbap bowl! If you are also a fan of kimchi or just want to give it a try, order this little side dish for a great addition to your meal.
My family has gone another time and
ordered the Katsu Don and the Gyu Don, which is beef, egg, onion and green onion on rice. The Gyu Don is also an alternative to a breaded option on the menu. We ordered the Katsu Don again on this occasion because it is too tasty to pass up – but hey, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”?
Overall, I think this is going to be a new family favourite. The food is fresh, its fast, great portions and delicious. The menu offers unique dishes with traditional favourites that are all options you can’t go wrong ordering. This family run restaurant is a great spot for some delicious Japanese cuisine to satisfy any craving!