Deep-Fried Breaded Pork Cutlet TONKATSU / Ham Cutlet HAMUKATSU トンカツ, ハムカツ

I will introduce 2 types of deep-fried breaded cutlets. These are pork cutlet TONKATSU and ham cutlet HAMUKATSU.

Pork Cutlet TONKATSU

I will honestly show you a recommended tonkatsu chain with average price level and delicious food.
That is TONKATSU WAKO とんかつ 和幸.

Hopefully, you already know about tonkatsu. It is one of the most popular foods in Japan and it is cooked like deep-fried breaded pork cutlet, then you are interested in eating and want to know where to go.
In Japan, there are many restaurants specializing in tonkatsu. Usually they offer some kind of tonkatsu set meals such as pork loin tonkatsu and pork fillet tonkatsu.

Japanese style set meals often include rice, miso soup, pickles and the main dish. At lunch time, some WAKO restaurants also offer dinner menu.

General prices of tonkatu set meal

  • Inexpensive restaurant: 500 – 850 yen
  • Average price restaurant: 850 – 2000 yen ←WAKO is this price level.
  • High grade restaurant: 2000 yen to more

Restaurant name


The set meal picture above is WAKO-GOHAN 和幸御飯 (Pork loin tonkatsu) from lunch menu and it costs 880 yen (including tax) at lunch time.
However, I am not sure if all WAKO restaurants are the same prices / menu or not.

All WAKO's ingredients are high quality. Of course, their pork is much more delicious than in an inexpensive restaurant.

WAKO don't put the sauce on the pork as it cooks, so the batter stays crispy. The sauce is provided on the table so you can pour it in the small dish provided and dip the tonkatsu.
Not only the pork but also the rice, sauce and citrus (Yuzu 柚子) dressing for the cabbage taste great.
You also get WAKO's special miso soup which is made of a lot of tiny freshwater clams (Shijimi しじみ) with shells, and the clams and miso flavours match very well. Although picking up the clams using chopsticks from the shells is a little troublesome so some people drink only the soup without eating the tiny clams.
  • There is a very usable picture menu. English picture menu is available on their website. Before going, it would be a good idea to read their information and menu in English on the website.
  • The lunch menu is a little more reasonable than dinner menu. The two menus are not the same though.
  • Free refills of cabbage, rice and Japanese tea (Maybe some branches don't offer Japanese tea.
    Please don't hesitate to ask for refills, but you shouldn't leave food.
    You say,
    “Excuse me.” “Sumimasen すみません。”
    “Cabbage, please” “Kyabetsu kudasai キャベツください。”
    “Rice, please” “Gohan kudasai ごはんください。”
    “Half size of rice, please” “Gohan hanbun kudasai ごはん半分ください。”
    “Miso soup, please” “Miso-shiru kudasai 味噌汁ください。”

Google Maps of WAKO restaurants in downtown Tokyo
Ikebukuro 池袋 3F of a building (shopping mall) Sunshine City alpa.
Shinjuku 新宿 B1F of a book store KINOKUNIYA 紀伊國屋
Shibuya 渋谷 1F of a building METRO PLAZA メトロプラザ
Tokyo 東京 Station B1 of a shopping mall 八重洲地下街

Google Maps

There are many WAKO branches in Japan, but some branches don't have a restaurant service, and they only sell food to go.


Hamu-katsu ハムカツ is cheep and good for drinking beer. Many Izakaya (Japanese) style bars offer Hamu-katsu ハムカツ.
Banpaiya 晩杯屋 Deep fried breaded thick ham 極厚ハムカツ
Thickly sliced hamu-katsu (極厚ハムカツ Gokuatsu-hamu-katsu)
310 yen (including tax) at a standing bar BANPAIYA 晩杯屋

This dish is called Hamu-katsu ハムカツ in Japanese. It is ham cutlet that is cooked like deep-fried, breaded ham.

In Japan, some restaurants and bars that are open in the evening and offer alcohol beverages have low priced foods as nibbles. Many places offer Hamu-katsu ハムカツ.
Thinly sliced hamu-katsu (ハムカツ Hamu-katsu)
290 yen (not including tax) at a bar BEEF KITCHEN STAND

You already know about Japanese style food Tonkatsu (pork) / Gyukatsu (beef). These are  popular foods in Japan and these are cooked like deep-fried breaded pork / beef cutlet.

If you go there for lunch or dinner, Tonkatsu or Gyukatsu are a better choice, but if you prefer drinking to eating food, Hamu-katsu ハムカツ goes great with alcohol and it's much cheaper.
I recommend you put some sauce and mustard on it.
Give it a try while traveling in Japan!

Recommended bars that offer hamukatsu

Standing Bar BANPAIYA 晩杯屋 in Tokyo
Standing Bar BANPAIYA 晩杯屋 in Tokyo This bar is still unknown spot for international tourists. BANPAIYA 晩杯屋 is really popular with local people. Most of the dishes cost between 130 and 310 yen. Only a few kinds of dishes are 490 yen.
BEEF KITCHEN STAND ビーフキッチンスタンド Akihabara 秋葉原, Shinjuku 新宿, Shinbashi 新橋 in Tokyo
This restaurant offers many different kinds of amazingly low priced foods for between 100 and 380 yen. (They are small size though.)