For years, the choice for traditional "Tonkatsu" (breaded, deep fried pork cutlet) meals has been the "Ton Q" restaurant, located on Nishi Odori, at the corner one light south of Tsuchiura-Gakuen Sen. As the old building was getting a bit run down and "behind the times", the popular restaurant closed down this spring and has been completely rebuilt.
The menu will not be that much different than before (after all, how many ways can you serve "tonkatsu"?), but a couple of new features have been added. Meals generally include a generous helping of shredded cabbage along with rice and miso soup. The special "tonkatsu sauce" (something like a steak sauce) goes well with the juicy cutlets, and makes for a very filling and satisfying meal. A new twist on this traditional meal is a bowl of "goma" (sesame seeds) that you get to grind up yourself. You then pour the "tonkatsu sauce" into the bowl to make a really tasty sauce to dip your meat and cabbage in.
While Ton Q specializes in deep-fried pork, you can substitute chicken or shrimp meat for the pork. They also serve spare ribs, but if you are a vegetarian, you're out of luck, unless you negotiate with others for their shredded cabbage and miso soup! Ton Q features a special lunch menu with meals in the 800 yen to 1200 yen range, but the somewhat more expensive and varied dinner menu is available during both the lunch and dinner times. It's definitely a good place for a family meal.
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