It was L’s birthday on Saturday. I asked him where he wanted to go for lunch. He said no where far and something warm. I reminded him of Katsuten, which is a five-minute walk from our house. For this post, let’s listen to “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, with a dance choreographed by Kyle Hanagami.
Katsuten doesn’t take reservations. When we arrived at 12:30 p.m., the room was more than half full. Soon after, there was a line-up. Pro tip. If your group is bigger than two people, come right when the restaurant opens to guarantee a seat.
There was only one server for the whole restaurant. Despite the line-up, takeout and serving the rapid turnover of tables, she remained cool as a cucumber and efficient. We were well looked after and felt service was uncompromised despite how busy the restaurant became.
L and I shared the Cheese Katsu ($17.90) and Creamy Curry Udon ($14). The katsu comes with miso soup, rice and a cabbage salad. In my past visits, the only thing that prevented me from loving this restaurant was the rice. Well, that’s been rectified. The rice was good. The grain looked like what I use at home – Kokuho Rose. I like how firm each grain of rice is and that it has a bit of a chew. The cabbage was drizzled with a yellow dressing that was nice and bright, which was refreshing after eating fried food.
The cheese was warm and soft. Against the fluffy, fried breading, it was like eating a grilled cheese sandwich, but more decadent. The cheese makes the katsu tasted even richer. I would recommend sharing this dish.
Our server instructed us to mix the topping with the noodles because the potato cream is cold. Marvelous. The noodles were chewy and slippery in a heady curry gravy of bacon, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and green onions.
L thought the combination of curry and cream was unusual and delicious. The curry wasn’t hot or overpowering. More of a hint that complimented the bacon and potato cream.
The katsu here rivals the best I’ve tried in Japan. I didn’t realize how full I was until I got up to pay the bill. For this feast, our bill was only $35. I’d say that’s a steal for katsu of this calibre. I love this place so much, I’m putting it Hitting the Sauce’s list of favourite restaurants in Calgary. I give Katsuten two fat thumbs up.