Japanese Self-Service Food Stands
In MOTHER 2 and MOTHER 3, Shigesato Itoi sometimes included little references to real-life shops and restaurants in Japan that he really liked. For example, a fellow in Fourside talks about how if he dug up treasure, he’d go to Japan to live it up. In the MOTHER 2 version of the script, he goes on to say that he’d specifically go to the Katsuman restaurant in Tokyo and order three of their special “katsu” pork cutlets. This extra mention was left out of EarthBound’s script, but was mentioned again by a pig in MOTHER 3.
So, being the intrepid soul she is, Starmen.Net member Izumi sought this place out during a recent jaunt into Tokyo. Here is her report.
Anyway, being the nut I am (and my hostel was actually IN Kanda, so I really had no excuse) I headed off to Katsuman one day last week to give it a try. This is a really great little restaurant! I LOVE tonkatsu so I really enjoyed the meal. It was pricey but the food was excellent and I hardly had room in my stomach to put it all.
I used this website to locate the place. Just a warning that it can be tough to find if you don’t know how to read Japanese addresses, so if you plan to visit Katsuman, print yourself a map or locate it on a guidebook map before you go. The closest station is Ogawamachi (Toei Shinjuku Subway Line), closest exit is A1. They are closed between 2 and 5 o’clock (I showed up at 2:10, ended up coming back the next day) and are quite popular so if you are going in a group, better arrive early. I think there were just 4 or 5 tables, plus the counter with stools for singles.
The menu is not available in English (it’s not even furigana’d), so it might be difficult to know what you’re ordering. I just got rosu katsu, which is your basic pork cutlet. It came with green tea, rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables and a heap of shredded lettuce. And it was delicious. If you have the opportunity to go (and even if you’re a picky eater, katsu is like the most inoffensive Japanese food ever), please do, you won’t regret it!
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