Will Toasty Guys satisfy our cravings for quality sauce and smoky flavours?

In Japan, you can find a lot of places that serve up overseas specialties like pizza and pancakes, and a lot of them are so good they impress foreign diners with their authenticity, even winning awards and Michelin Guide mentions.

Over the last few years, however, there’s been a growing interest in a particular foreign dish that was once almost impossible to find in Japan: pulled pork.

Earlier this year, for instance, Texas barbecue specialty store Dickey’s BBQ Pit opened up in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, introducing meat lovers to smoky meals like pulled pork burgers.

Now, the pulled pork trend is reaching new heights with the opening of Toasty Guys, which is being touted as “Japan’s first pulled pork specialty store”. Located in hip and trendy Harajuku, Toasty Guys had its soft opening in December last year, and after being open for about half a year, it finally celebrated its official grand opening on 4 June.

▼ The shop’s exterior is cute and colourful, exuding a bright Harajuku-like atmosphere.

When Toasty Guys say they specialise in pulled pork, they aren’t joking — looking at the menu reveals a total of 18 different types of pulled pork sandwiches, along with Pulled Pork Taco Rice, Pulled Pork Yakisoba, and Trash Can Nachos, which comes served up in a bucket.

▼ You can also choose extra toppings like cheese, habanero, pineapple, bacon, coriander, avocado, and even more pulled pork.

When we visited, we ordered the Mozzarella Pulled Pork sandwich (1,090 yen [US$9.94]) and the Triple Vanilla Shake (720 yen), which comes with a tricolour whipped cream topping.

▼ How gorgeous is this shake?

While the shake attempted to distract us with its milky flavour and good looks, we were here for the pulled pork, and when our order arrived, we were besotted by its gorgeous, smoky, cheesy appearance.

Lifting the top half of the bun, we could see this sandwich contained a hefty mound of meat and cheese, and the light chargrilled toasting of the bread promised to add even more smoky flavours to the meal.

We pulled off a huge bite of the pulled pork extravaganza, and were delighted at the crunchiness of the buns, which delivered the flavour of a slightly spicy barbecue sauce to the taste buds while the gravy juices oozed out the sides of the sandwich.

The star of the show, however, was definitely the slow-cooked pork shoulder meat, which had been cooked to perfection and gently loosened, spreading its smoky, slightly sweet flavours throughout every mouthful.

This pulled pork sandwich was on par with some of the best we’ve tried overseas, which is a relief, seeing as we had high hopes for Japan’s first pulled pork specialty store. Toasty Guys offers a great alternative to the myriad of burger options you’ll find in Tokyo right now, and it’s one we’ll definitely be going back for, although next time we’ll have to try their Pulled Pork Taco Rice and Yakisoba too!

Store Information

Toasty Guys / トースティガイズ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-9-30 Freg Harajuku 1F
東京都渋谷区神宮前1-9-30 FREG原宿1F
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (these are the shortened hours during the state of emergency)

Images: SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]