Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin: Third Generation Japanese Breaded Pork Cutlet restaurant launches new menu items!

You've heard of Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin in B4 of Ion Orchard? Lucky you, because it took me a whole 8 years since its setup in 2009 to chance upon its existence. The relentless search for Singapore's best Tonkatsu never once leading me to the food basement of this human-overrun commonplace. Fortunately for me, this bane was recently overhauled when a photo assignment brought such unexpected pleasures to my senses, after my first apprehensive bite of the Katsu sandwich. A third generation breaded pork cutlet recipe sandwiched between white bread is a no-brainer winner. This idea spawned by Nobukatsu-san during World War I when faced with the dire situation of severe rice shortage - nothing short of genius and we're glad it's a staple on the menu.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin remains steadfast to its roots, the menu not deviating far from it's superstar product, the tonkatsu. However, that is soon to change as the kitchen buzzes with additions to the menu.

We're guessing you're always making a beeline for their signature Black Pig Loin Katsu set; not that it isn't an outstanding choice or anything, but the adventurous might like to give these newbies a go.

1) Salmon Katsu Don ($17)

We all know its difficult to chance upon a shopping-mall bound stall that handles their salmon well, much less deep fry it. Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin's new Salmon Katsu Don translates the same finesse as their regular porcine options. The temperatures and length of oil-bathe well scrutinised to produce golden crumbed slices, still pink and tender in the middle. This sits on top of shredded cabbage, Niigata Yukinkomai Japanese rice; the slices partially forming a dam for the onsen egg. Drizzle on the accompanying tartare sauce and enjoy! Keep a look out as this item only launches in June.

2) Soboro Pork Don ($14)

Staring at the half-devoured bowl of rice shortly after I'm done photographing the rest of the entourage, I considered my dining companion to be a fan girl of this new inclusion. The basic ground pork mixture given new life when the wobbly sous-vide egg yolk is given a stab at. The instant richness and subtle seasoning on the soboro pork melding together, as if it came straight from your mother's kitchen (albeit on a good day, sans the nagging in tow from all the late nights gallivanting the streets). This dish will also be available in June and it offers a good healthier alternative to the deep-fried options.

3) Spaghetti Pork Katsu ($17)

Last but not least, the choice that sounds the most imposing and seemingly most suitable for a young adolescent boy is the Spaghetti Pork Katsu. Once again, the bonafide Ginza Bairin reception is seen here, albeit dressed up in tomato paste and powdered cheese over spaghetti. As far as presentation goes, this one seizes the day, however the glitch being the impossibly sweet tomato paste was frustrating and served only to disguise the outstanding cutlet.

Black Pig Katsu Curry
After all, the prize is in the breaded pork loin, and the signature dishes here assist to highlight that fact with autonomy given to the guests to play around in terms of variables. For one, the Special Pork Katsu Don ($19) is one of my favourites, tender and smothered in a righteous amount of beaten eggs and then blanketed by a picture perfect sunny side egg. My only gripe being the absence of stewed onions. The Black Pig Katsu Curry ($20) is memorable too, that stellar fatty steak of pork setting itself apart from the other run-off-the-mill options such as Coco Ichibanya and Monster curry.

Purists will revel in the Black Pig Loin Katsu set ($20), a hit single that possesses a good amount of fat marbling and more importantly, crisp panko golden crust both on the top and bottom.
Special Pork Katsu Don
As far as decor goes, Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin is probably the most non-polarising of the lot, you place you order at the counter and it arrives like clockwork, on hideous beige square tables with little partitions to block out the unappetising sight of wide opened legs and beyond, from an unsuspecting female guest sitting opposite you. Probably too self-indulged in the golden-brown realms to even care about her indecent exposure. Which is fine by me, as soon, the same ensourcelled effects takes its reign. I just hope that the only thing I left opened was my mouth.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin
2 Orchard Turn

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

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