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Pork fat to the power of two – Katsu Curry on rice at Ebi-Ten

In asian cuisine, cheap dinner, cheap eats vancouver under $10, cheap lunch, restaurants on February 14, 2011 at 12:33 am

By Tana Kosiyabong

Tonkatsu and Curry at Ebi Ten Robson Street

Ebi-Ten is one of my favorite restaurants across the street from the Vancouver Main Library. The restaurant has been famous for several years now. My usual dish was the Ten-Don (tempura on rice – $6.38) which I always ask for an extra spoon of sauce. It was good and affordable. However, a few weeks ago I wanted to try something new. So I ordered their Katsu Curry (Deep-fried pork cutlet with curry on rice – $7.95 or $8.55 combo with miso soup or a can of soda) instead.

Within a few weeks of my first try, I found myself eating the Katsu Curry for the third time. It has become my new usual at Ebi-Ten. I think it’s time I start writing about the dish.

So earlier this week, I went back to Ebi-Ten again with my digital camera. At the cashier counter, I wasted no time to order the Kutsu Curry combo with soda. The restaurant was packed during the lunch hour. Fortunately, there was an empty table just right outside and the weather was nice enough.

The dish was ready promptly. I took it to the condiment counter to add some pickled ginger and crispy tempura bits on the side. Normally I would also add about twenty shakes of the Shichimi tōgarashi (Japanese Chili powder) to the dish. But this time I waited until I took the pictures and completed the taste test so I could get the original flavor of the dish first.

Tonkatsu and Curry at Ebi Ten, Robson Street

Tonkatsu Curry on rice at Ebi Ten, Robson Street

Close-up of Tonkatsu at Ebi-Ten, Robson Street

The tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) was yummy. The crust was crispy; it was a hybrid of the batter and the panko crust. The pork cutlet was a bit overcooked, but the pork fat kept the cutlet from being too dry. The tangy tonkatsu sauce enhanced the taste of the deep-fried pork well. Although the menu board suggested that the dish was spicy, I personally think the curry was mild, smooth yet delicious. (Please remember that my tongue can tolerate spicy stuff really well.) The thin slices of the fatty pork-belly (in the curry) was so tender it melted in my mouth. So did the carrots and the onions. The crispy tonkatsu and the smooth curry complimented each other as well as Batman and Robin; the Green Hornet and Kato; or whoever your favorite superheros and sidekicks would be. The dish is definitely a tasty Cheap Appetite. However, due to the high pork fat content, eat it at your own risk.

Ebi-Ten Kutsu Curry: ©©© ¾

Ebi-Ten is located at 388 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6B (T) 604.689.9938

Ebi-Ten Menu Board (Robson Street)

©2011 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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  1. How did you know I LOVE pork fat? =) It so is what adds the flavor. What a meal!

  2. Mmmmm, Tana, your pics make everything look 3D, I had to move my head to avoid being “hit” by them ;-)

    As much as I’m tempted to want to go try this Ebi-Ten’s Katsu Curry, IMHO the price is a bit steep. And I LOVE pork/chicken katsu, it’s one of the things I always order at a new Japanese resto (and sometimes Taiwanese resto) to see how well they make it. You can even see my quest for the “perfect tonkatsu” here:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758917

    My current favorite tonkatsu is at i-Cafe on Broadway @ Heather. You can see Ben’s pic of it here, but it’s already covered in curry sauce. I always ask for the curry sauce on the side. They have this as a $10 combo that includes a bowl of soup and a drink (coffee, HK coffee tea, etc). And the two slices of tonkatsu they give you are HUGE, along with a big serving of white rice and sauteed carrots & zuchini. An excellent deal & meal, IMO:

    http://chowtimes.com/2011/01/03/i-cafe-food-was-pretty-decent-the-crisp-cubic-toast-was-fun/

    • Thanks LotusRapper. I’ll have to check out iCafe. I saw the pic on Ben site, it does look like a huge portion. Too bad the curry sauce covered all over tonkatsu. But I’ll take your word for it. The $10 combo sounded like a good deal for the amount of food and drink you get. You must have a big appetite to be able to eat all that in one sitting. :)

  3. we’re all creatures of habit cuz I always get the same dish here, ten don on rice with a side of karaage for protein. I do love katsu curry so this will be sampled very soon, well as soon as I can shake this cold I am fighting. Oh, one thing about this place is the meat is deep fried before your eyes so you know its fresh and not sitting under heat lamp.

  4. This sounds wonderful especially with the pork fat!

  5. [...] week I wrote about the Japanese Katsu Curry from Ebi Ten. So I think it would be fun to compare the dish against a curry dish from Rasoee Indian kitchen [...]

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