Maisen is one of the more well-known tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo. Like many restaurants, it is sort of off the beaten path, as it sits in a residential neighborhood that is dotted with businesses as well.
Maisen also has a take-away counter located to the right of the restaurant.
Maisen’s menu is ridiculously long, full of pictures and is in the form of a book.
The most coveted dishes are the Tokyo-X Pork Cutlets Sets, of which there are three. However, they are limited to 2, 5 or 10 meals per day depending the set. With such limitations which likely sell out rather quickly, it almost isn’t worth having on the menu.
I ordered the Kurobuta Loin Cutlet Set (¥3,100), which is not exactly cheap for breaded pork cutlet. But considering that the Kurobuta pork is the wagyu of pigs, how could you not order it?
A dish of grated daikon, and a small kettle of tonkatsu sauce is provided.
The set includes the Kurobuta loin tonkatsu, a bowl of miso soup, a bowl of rice, and pickled vegetables. The pork is handled with great care, and is placed on top of wire rack that sits on your plate. This is to ensure the tonkatsu stays crispy. Put the freshly fried pork cutlet directly onto the plate, and the underside becomes soggy. The tonkastsu is served with a lemon wedge and shredded cabbage to cut down on the fat. The miso soup had a nice strong, miso flavor. The pickled vegetables also help to cut down on the richness of the dish.
The meal was finished off with a light, orange flavored “ice cream”.
The food is expertly prepared here, service is friendly and hospitable. I think dining here once is worth it, unless you are a big fan of tonkatsu.