Ex-restaurant chefs now selling Tonkatsus from S$8.80 at NTP+ mall in Lorong Chuan

Taste of Japan.

| Kayla Wong | Sponsored | November 25, 2021, 09:49 AM

Donburi Maruya is a food stall that sells Japanese food like Tonkatsu and Katsu Curry within the food court located in NTP+ (New Tech Park) at Lorong Chuan.

Image via Donburi Maruya

The stall is run by chefs Aaron and Ding Wei, who have spent the last eight years working at Ginza Bairin, a now-closed Tonkatsu specialty restaurant at Ion Orchard.

Image via Donburi Maruya

When we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, Chef Ding Wei welcomed us warmly, and recommended three dishes to try from their “Donburi” (rice bowl), “Curry” and “Teishoku” (set meal) varieties.

Here’s a look at their menu:

Image via Donburi Maruya

The dishes might look kind of similar to one another, but actually differ in their variations of agemono (deep-fried dishes).

For instance, besides Pork Katsu, they have Chicken Katsu and Ebi Fry (fried shrimp) as well, among others.

We tried their Pork Katsu Don first, which was served with a soft-cooked egg on top, as well as miso soup and shredded cabbage, which was seasoned with sesame dressing.

Image via Mothership

Ding told us that they use pork loins from Canada, first coated with a layer of fresh panko (Japanese-style breadcrumb) before frying.

The difference between fresh and frozen panko is that the latter has a harder texture, he said.

Also, apparently one could also tell if fresh panko was used by looking at how “crispy” or “shard-like” the surface of the Tonkatsu looked.

Upon closer inspection of the Pork Katsu that was served in the curry dish, we did notice the “spikes” that were standing out on the pork cutlet.

Image via Mothership

Ding added that they use cotton seed oil as well, as it’s ideal for preserving fragrance.

When we bit into the Pork Katsu, it was crunchy on the outside -- or saku saku as the Japanese say -- while tender and juicy on the inside.

The texture of the pork itself was perfect too -- neither too tough nor too soft.

And even though it was deep fried, it didn’t taste greasy, and we could easily finish up one entire cutlet individually.

As Ding kindly showed us, one could pair the Tonkatsu with some sweet and tangy Tonkatsu sauce too.

How one takes it, however, depends on their personal preferences.

Image via Mothership

While some prefer to drip or pour the sauce over the Tonkatsu for convenience, others are “dippers” and prefer to dip their katsu slices into the sauce shortly before eating so the katsu doesn’t become soggy, and lose its crunchiness.

It’s also preferred by those who like their sauce on the heavier side as they can dip their food into as much sauce as they want.

Karashi, or Japanese mustard, is provided on the side as well for those who prefer a bit of spice -- perfect for Singaporean taste buds, although that’s about as spicy as the meal goes.

For us, although we mostly prefer to take our food as it is, we find that the sauces add variety to the meal, which adds to the overall experience.

The last dish we tried was a Teishoku with Pork Katsu and Ebi Fry, served with the usual rice and miso soup.

Image via Mothership

We squeezed a bit of lemon juice on the Tonkatsu for an added zest of tanginess.

The finely shredded cabbage, which was soaked in iced water for 10 minutes beforehand to taste extra crunchy, provided a refreshing contrast to the deep-fried dish as well.

It also helps to alleviate the guilt of eating something deep-fried -- yes, it might be a token vegetable, but it’s still providing part of the nutrients you need for the day.

All in all, on top of the taste, we appreciated the generous portions too, which are definitely more than enough if you’re feeling hungry from a hard day’s work.

Image via Mothership

Also, according to our colleagues who lived in Japan for a few years due to their studies or work, the Tonkatsus taste just like the ones they had in Japan.

So if you’re looking for some authentic, yet affordable Japanese katsus, Donburi Maruya is a pretty good option.

Here’s the outlet we went to: 151 Lorong Chuan, #02-01B Foodies Clan, New Tech Park

They are also available at Changi Airport Terminal 2, 60 Airport Boulevard, Level 3M, South #0610-ASC Foodies Clan

Their third outlet, which opened on Nov. 1, is at Aljunied: 56/58 Lorong 25A Geylang, Singapore 388248

If you’ve made it this far into the article, congratulations. Donburi Maruya will be giving free miso soup to Mothership readers. Simple flash this article while making your order!

Lastly, check out their socials here on Facebook and Instagram.

This sponsored piece by Donburi Maruya makes the writer crave for some deep-fried Tonkatsus paired with hot, fluffy rice.

Top image adapted via Donburi Maruya & Mothership.