Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kimura Japanese Kitchen & Some Katsu

In my somewhat limited experience, the best Japanese restaurant in Shanghai goes by the name Kimura Japanese Kitchen. Well...it's not easy to tell exactly what the name is, as the billboard seems a random mash of Chinese, Japanese, and English. It's located at 2255 Beijing Road, near Jiaozhou Road and a little north of Jing'an Si, and here's a picture of the sign:



As somebody who won't even go for a California Roll, thinking it's just too unauthentic, China's take at Japanese food is worlds beyond that. Sushi, for instance, will have mayonnaise piled on, sometimes it'll be pressed into the form of a sandwich, it'll have sweet things added to it, and maybe it'll get heated up in the microwave before serving.

So there's plenty of Japanese restaurants, but many of them are either extremely un-authentic, or are targeted at the Japanese expat community. That makes it way out of the price I prefer to pay for a meal, particularly as I'm not a huge fan of Japanese food. Kimura Japanese Kitchen is a favorite for the way it breaks out of this pattern. It's authentic, the owner is Japanese, there's Japanese signboards, and most of the customers can be heard speaking Japanese. But it's also cheap, as far as Shanghai's foreign food goes. Consequently, the place is usually pretty packed, even if you can't tell that here:



The simple interior reminds me of a basic restaurant from the times I've been to Japan, and the menus and signs are in both Japanese and in Chinese. They also have an English menu.



My favorite thing to get is the katsu, maybe because I like it in a Hawaiian plate lunch, ha ha. Here's the katsu curry, it costs about $4:



And my friend quite liked her ramen, which is more photogenic, anyway:



For katsu fans, there's also a very good, very Japanese-style place around the corner on 176 Jiazhou Lu, near Beijing Lu. Forgive me if I make a Japanese mistake, but I think the name would transliterate to Shi-chan's Tonkatsu? Get the fatty tonkatsu, it's better than the lean. It is a little expensive though, at about $10 for a not-large order. Here's a picture of the storefront:



The Japanese chain Curry House, which is also in Honolulu and pretty much exactly the same (they don't offer "The Challenge"), has a rapidly-expanding number of stores in Shanghai. They're casual, and always crowded. Somehow it inspired a Japanese video game as well, wow. The katsu and curry rice is about the same price as Kimura's, if not as good. It's still decent and there's a lot of different varieties, and I think the place is worth going to. The food is, uhh, better than it looks:

2 comments:

aaron said...

Really enjoying your blog Jeff!
Been lookin for a good Tonkatsu place.

Justina said...

I am SO going to this place soon. Thanks for posting it!