Published on Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
It has been a long time coming, but Singapore's very first gyu-katsu restaurant has finally set up shop in Paragon, Orchard.
Singapore is home to an abundance of Japanese restaurants. Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and tori-katsu (chicken cutlet) are common dishes found in the menus of these restaurants, but where is the holy grail of all katsus? For what seemed like an eternity, our sunny island, that we proudly consider a food paradise, had been lacking in the highly revered gyu-katsu (beef cutlet), until now.
Supreme quality beef cooked medium rare and coated in a layer of crispy golden-brown bread crumbs – the thought of it is enough to make us drool. Instead of repeatedly lamenting about why gyu-katsu has not been introduced to Singapore sooner, we decided to just shut up, shove the delicious deep-fried beefy goodness in our mouths and savor the moment.
Ginza Kushi-Katsu is a small and casual Japanese restaurant tucked away in a corner of The Paragon shopping center's basement with an extensive menu offering a wide array of cooked Japanese dishes and Japanese drinks.
Australia Beef Fillet Gyu Katsu (90g), $20.80
The beef cutlet is deep-fried for only 60 seconds at precisely 210°C so that the breadcrumbs crisp up and turn golden-brown while the beef is cooked medium-rare. It is then sliced up and served. You can control how well you will like your beef cooked with the teppan (hot plate) that accompanies the dish, but in our opinion, beef should always be eaten medium-rare. We only used the hot plate to slightly heat up the interior before dipping it in our preferred condiments.
The outler layer was flaky and crispy which nicely contrasted with the soft and velvety beef. Though the beef is not beautifully marbled, it was still tender, buttery and succulent with a mild sweetness.
The condiments provided are wasabi and soy sauce, horseradish sauce, and rock salt. The usual suspect – wasabi and soy sauce needs no introduction as a traditional Japanese dipping sauce – light and salty with a sharp kick. The horseradish sauce is creamy and savory which helps to accentuate the tenderness of the beef. The rock salt is a sure and simple seasoning for those who enjoy their beef just as it is.
Other than the Australia Beef Fillet which costs $20.80 for 90g and $30.80 for 180g, you can opt for a higher quality gyu-katsu and select the U.S. Angus Tenderloin with a pricetag of $30.80 for 90g and $45.80 for 180g. You can make it a set and add on a bowl of rice, soup and panna cotta for just $4.
The gyu-katsu we had was delicious, though it was nothing compared to the ones we found in Japan. Being a Japanese dish, it sure is a disappointment that Ginza Kushi-Katsu does not offer a wagyu beef variation for the gyu-katsu. We also think that with beef being served nearly rare, it would be a lot tastier if they had selected marbled cuts so that the webbing of fat will create a creamy melt-in-the-mouth texture. Nonetheless, we have been craving for gyu-katsu ever since we came back from Japan and Ginza Kushi-Katsu gets the job done.
Crab Cream Croquette Omu Rice, $18.80
Served in a pool of tomato cream sauce, the crab croquettes were deep-fried to perfection with a crispy layer of bread crumbs encompassing the moist and tender flakes of crab meat contained within, however it was strangely doughy in certain parts. A fluffy omelette aesthetically draped over a pile of rice cooked in tomato sauce tasted a little bit bland but the pink sauce helped to add a tangy richness to the dish.
Foil Wrapped Hamburg Steak, $14.80
This hamburg steak set is served with rice, soup and panna cotta for an extra $4. The quality of the minced beef in the patty is impressive – tender and succulent, imbued with globs of luscious fat scattered throughout that dissolves to a viscous beefy goodness on the tongue. The demi-glace gravy laddled over the hamburg steak is sweet, savory and light which gives flavor to the patty without taking away the natural flavors of the premium beef.
While there is definitely room for improvement, Ginza Kushi-Katsu is a great place for decent Japanese food that is not your run-of-the-mill sushi bars found aplenty in town. Should you desire Japanese cutlets, this humble little restaurant is definitely the place to go to. With over 12 different varieties of cutlets to choose from, your craving for crunchy deep-fried food will definitely be appeased.
Address: 290 Orchard Road, #B1-47, Paragon Shopping Centre, Paragon, Singapore 238859
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am – 10pm
Tel: +65 6262 1304