Living in the East, I was really in two minds as to whether to accept this invitation to try out a new Tonkatsu restaurant at JCube in Jurong. Mention Jurong to us Easties and it’s akin to telling us to travel to Malaysia! Well almost. So I had really high expectations of Ginza Bairin, and to cut the story short, I have to say Ginza Bairin does a mean Tonkatsu!
Ginza Bairin boasts an illustrious 85 year history. Established in 1927 by Nobukatsu Shibuya, Ginza Bairin was the very 1st Tonkatsu restaurant ever launched in Ginza Japan. And get this, it appears Ginza Bairin “invented” the Katsu Sandwich decades ago, when there was a severe shortage of rice after World War II. Today, it is helmed by Masaya Shibuya, the great grandson and 3rd generation owner of Ginza Bairin.
I didn’t know about all this before I tried the dishes and I was thinking to myself, wow this is pretty good. I mean the place looks pretty casual, maybe slightly better than a fast food outlet, yet the food was vastly different!
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Special Katsudon (1958/Apr) – $16.50
The Special Katsudon was one of the dishes we tried. You don’t even need to eat it to tell that it is more unique than the usual Katsudon because instead of just pork and omelette, there is a sunny side up waiting for you too! Why I have not come across any other restaurant doing Katsudon this way baffles me because now I think I’m ruined for all Katsudon without sunny side ups!
Needless to say, the additional egg incorporated more flavour to the already flavourful dish. The pork was very tender and juicy, without tasting oily as Katsu don can sometimes be due the batter. The rice was also piping hot and fluffy. Is it any wonder that this dish was awarded the No1 Donburi in Japan?