Japanese Tonkatsu at Chitaka (Taipei)

January 24, 2014 in Food, Reviews, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

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Tonkatsu places are a dime a dozen in Taiwan, and often it’s difficult to separate one from the other. There are the best ones, like Anzu (review here), and the second-tier ones like Pin Tian (review here). I’d place Chikata, an old Japanese chain that has spread to Taiwan, as one of the better second-tier joints that supplements its very decent tonkatsu with excellent variety and extensive meal sets.

There are now 10 Chitaka outlets in Taiwan, and the one we went to was the now-closed two-storey store near the Japanese district on Zhongshan North Road, about a 5-minute walk from the Zhongshan MRT station. But fear not — there is another one not too far away, also on Zhongshan North Road near the Regent Hotel.

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As expected, Chitaka offers both of the two main types of tonkatsu — the hire (pork fillet) and the rosu (pork loin). Each set comes with an appetizer, unlimited rice and cabbage and miso soup (from NT$240), or you can upgrade it to add a chawanmushi (steamed cup), dessert and beverage (from NT$280). They also have this special type of “layered” katsu which is essentially the same thing, except the meat is packed from layers upon layers of thin pork, and you can choose varieties that also add cheese into the mix.

Unlimited cabbage, with unlimited sauce...

Unlimited cabbage, with unlimited sauce…

In addition, they have other seafood katsu meals that use fish fillets and prawns, or you can choose a surf and turf combo that combines pork katsu with seafood. Of course there is also curry katsu, but what Chitaka also has that many other places might not is hotpot, in particular sukiyaki. I personally thought it was a little strange but I suppose it’s pretty good for winter, or if people prefer something soupy to the dry katsu. They even have stuff like unagi (eel) or oyaoko don (egg and chicken) dishes for people are who so inclined. Interestingly, there is no chicken katsu.

These were the sets we ordered.

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Tonktatsu set with a unagi don

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Oyako don set with soup udon

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Curry katsu set with soup udon

As you can see, you do get a lot of variety, but the katsu itself does not look amazing, and the serving size is relatively small. The taste is decent, not extraordinary — the crunch from the bread crumbs is there, but it doesn’t have that super crispiness and juiciness of the top tier katsu, though it isn’t dry and hard either like the crap places. It’s somewhere in the middle.

Having said that, Chitaka is a place I wouldn’t mind going back to. You do get a lot of options to choose from, there is great variety, and the prices are fair. It’s not a bad place for a casual lunch or gathering.

7.5/10

Details

Chitaka (知多家)

Website (Chinese only): http://www.chitaka.com.tw/

Address: No. 31, Lane 45, Section 2, Zhōngshān North Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei (nearest MRT Zhongshan, red line)

Phone: +886 2 2562 3644