Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ken's Sandwich - Tokyo

Katsu Sando or "Pork Cutlet Sandwich"
Something primal in me stirred when I saw a picture of this Tonkatsu sandwich. We were walking down the street in Kichijoji, a neighborhood in Tokyo known more for its shopping than its food. A gentleman was outside of Ken's Sandwich giving flyers to passersby. The flyer had just a picture of the sandwich and a bunch of Japanese - but the point was made to me, clearly. We kept shopping for a while but were destined to come back.

Tonkatsu is a thick pork cutlet, battered with a crustless bread called Panko, then deep fried. Hot off the presses, it's dipped in a sauce reminiscent of Worcestershire - a mix of pureed apples, hot Japanese mustard and other "special" ingredients. At Ken's they plop it between two pieces of toast, trim off the crust and divide it into bites. It's as good as it looks, maybe better. Thick, juicy pork with a crunchy coating and the bite of the sauce. The toast envelope keeps your fingers clean.

I don't know who Ken is, where he lives, if he's still alive or even if he is a real person to start with. I also don't know if Ken's makes this better than anyone else - all I know is it tastes damn good.

333 Nakamichi St
Kichijoji, Tokyo

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  1. This is definitely new... I mean it wasn't there when I was living there a year ago. Not sure why I ever decided to leave Tokyo.. but oh well, we all make decisions we never understand right?

    I like the half portions.. perfect size for small eaters like FN! Right babe?

  2. Yeah, dope, why you move out of such an interesting city?

  3. oh my god! need to replicate this!

  4. Hello. My friend sent me this link because we shared a 'Ken's Sando' together a few months back and she was surprised to find the link. Just here to tell you that Kenichi is real and living in the suburbs of Tokyo in a gorgeous two floor old Japanese house made from 400 year old cedar trees. I teach his wife every week and usually spend holiday time at their house. They are like my adoptive parents in Japan....and his sauce company is his life. It has been a part of his family for many many years. Glad you enjoyed your sandwich and I will let him know!

  5. @Rita - hey, thanks for the update! I'm surprised that they're aren't a bunch of posts about this place on the internet. The sandwich was slamming!