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