A true Tokyo institution, tonkatsu specialist Tonki in Meguro has been serving tasty deep-fried pork cutlets since 1939. Old-school traditions don’t get better than this.
Tonki - image © Florentyna Leow
Tonki specialises in tonkatsu - breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets. You can choose between hire (lean) or rōsu (fatty pork), and those are about the extent of your choices. There are no options for curry sauce, breaded prawns, croquettes, or anything else you might find at other tonkatsu restaurants. This formula has obviously worked for Tonki, as they’ve been serving tonkatsu set meals since 1939.
Tonki - image © Florentyna Leow
The set meal is simple: the cutlet is served alongside a mound of white rice, shredded cabbage, a dab of mustard, and miso soup chock-full of pork and tofu. You can have endless refills of shredded cabbage. It’s a large open-kitchen space with counter seating only, meaning that you can watch the well-oiled tonkatsu operation in action.
If you’re looking for crispy breaded cutlets with perfectly tender, juicy meat within, as you’ll find at a place like Butagumi, this isn’t it. The pork isn’t necessarily from a rarefied breed of pig; and the breaded casing is crunchy and a little harder, rather than airy and crisp. Tonki’s tonkatsu is much closer to a home-cooked or an old-school teishoku (set meal) style meal - but therein lies its charm.
Don’t expect the best tonkatsu of your life at Tonki. But, this is where the locals eat, and it’s where you should go for a taste of old-school Tokyo.
For more Tokyo tonkatsu choices, see our Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo page.
1-1-2 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-0064
Closed Tuesday and the third Monday
Train: 2-minute walk from the west exit of Meguro Station on the JR Yamanote line.
Official website (Twitter)
:: Read customer reviews of Tonki on TripAdvisor.
Where Is This Place Located?See this place on the Truly Tokyo Google map:
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world