Breaded Winners

April 2, 2012 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Katsu Sandwich

Tonkatsu is no stranger to Hawai‘i menus. Here, tonkatsu—a breaded pork cutlet—and its cousin, chicken katsu, are staples at plate lunch eateries and even casual dining, sit-down restaurants.

However, at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, you’ll get the “real deal,” so to speak. Here, the crispy-on-the-outside cutlet is prepared almost like an art form. The highest quality pork—a must-try is the kurobuta tonkatsu—is so tender, you can cut it with a fork (although the go-to utensil here is a pair of chopsticks, so ask for a fork if you need one). These juicy pieces of pork are breaded with panko and fried so that it forms a delicate skin around the meat. Unlike other venues where quantity is oft favored over quality, the sweet-smoky complex tonkatsu sauce is placed tableside, so you can add as much (or little) as you want.


Most entrees here come as a “set” comprised of a salad, Japanese pickles, rice and miso soup.

If you’re not a rice eater, a good alternative is the tonkatsu sandwich. Here, the tonkatsu is encased in super-soft white bread (no crust, kids!) and slathered with the delish tonkatsu sauce. Not a pork fan? There’s also shrimp, chicken and some of the best calamari we’ve tasted in a while.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin
255 Beachwalk St. [C:6 Waikiki Map]
(808) 926-8082