Our reporters made pigs of themselves at Marugo, a pork cutlet restaurant featured in the 2016 Tokyo Michelin Guide.

It’s not just fancy traditional Japanese eateries that are gaining international recognition these days. Just last week we brought you our review of Japan’s first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant, and today we’d like to share our Japanese reporters’ visit to Marugo, a tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) restaurant that’s newly featured in the 2016 Tokyo Michelin guide. That’s some pedigree pork!

Despite the fact that long lines are often to be expected outside of eateries of special note like Marugo, our reporters, K Nagahashi and Go Hatori, try as they might, just couldn’t quite make it there until well after 12:30. Luckily for them, the pork gods must have been smiling, since there were only a few people in line before them and they didn’t have to spend too much time salivating outside of the shop. After waiting a paltry 15 minutes, they were ushered inside to sample the juicy delights within.

▼ Our reporter Go Hatori was a PIGture of excitement as he prepared to wrap his chops around some of Tokyo’s finest breaded pork.

Upon taking their seats in the cosy atmosphere amongst fellow diners who included suited-up businessmen, little old lady gourmands and a foreign family with kids in tow, our reporters deliberated over the menu. Eventually, they settled on a “special” pork loin cutlet (1,850 yen/US$15) and one “special” pork fillet cutlet (2,100 yen/US$17). Apparently in Marugo-lingo, “special” means a thicker cut of pork than usual. However, after a tense 10 minutes in salivatory anticipation, our reporters were a little disgruntled to find that they still hadn’t been served. Apparently, Marugo’s “special” extra thick pork pieces require extra time to be cooked to perfection compared to other establishments’ flimsy paper-thin pork cutlets, so patience is needed when dining at Marugo.

▼ That coating’s so crisp we can almost hear the crunch!

▼  “It’s the tastiest tonkatsu I’ve tasted”, claimed K Nagahashi, and he wasn’t telling porkies.

After 20 minutes, our reporters were finally served—with picture-perfect pork wrapped in a crispy coating cooked to a golden-brown hue. As promised, the pork slices were exceptionally thick, and the crispy coating was by far the crunchiest our reporters had ever munched. After the initial crunch, the soft, tender pork meat then followed to explode upon the tongue in a shower of salty juice. Our reporter Go states that the pork itself was truly meaty and flavourful without too much fat, providing a clean, refined taste. Satisfied with the porky product, our reporters then drizzled over copious quantities of tangy tonkatsu sauce and set to work cleaning their plates.

▼ Sometimes tonkatsu can be quite fatty, but Marugo’s pork had just the right amount

▼ Look at that tender pink perfection!

So, what was the overall verdict? Well, our reporters couldn’t stop raving about pork for hours after returning to the office, (in fact, they’d gone totally hog-wild) so we’re going to say with confidence that Marugo is surely a must-visit location for those seeking out some of the very best pork cutlets to be found in Tokyo.

Restaurant information:
Name: Marugo
Location: 1-8-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Lunch: 11:30-15:00, Dinner 17:00-21:00
Closed: Mondays, and the first and third Tuesday of every month.

店名 丸五(まるご)
住所 東京都千代田区外神田1-8-14
時間 ランチ11:30~15:00 / ディナー17:00~21:00
休日 月曜日、第1・第3火曜日

All photos © RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]