Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin @ JCube


Tokyo’s 85-year-old specialty Tonkatsu restaurant- Ginza Bairin, has recently opened its second outlet at JCube! (Their flagship store opened in 2009 at B4 of Ion Orchard)

Established in 1927 by founder Nobukatsu Shibuya, Ginza Bairin is the very first Tonkatsu restaurant ever launched in Ginza Japan. Today, the fast food restaurant chain is led by Masaya Shibuya, the great grandson and third generation owner of Ginza Bairin.

Together with a few other food bloggers, I had the opportunity of taking a trip down memory lane as we tried various new additions to the Ginza Bairin menu that had been created over the years.

We kicked started the evening with the Tonkatsu Sandwich (1932/Aug) – $9.10. Touted as the “Original Katsu Sandwich”, the Tonkatsu sandwich at Ginza Bairin is one of Nobukatsu-san’s most famous creations. It was created when there was a severe shortage of rice after World War II and he had an idea to serve Tonkatsu with bread in place of rice. And so because the Tonkatsu Sandwich was such a huge hit with the locals, it became a signature item on the menu.

Packaged in its custom made purple coloured box, you get four sandwiches with each serve. The crispiness of the Tonkatsu (Japanese breaded pork cutlets) which was juicy and not oily at all was a great contrast to the cut slices of soft fresh white bread. Of course, not forgetting a spread of their home-made Tonkatsu sauce (a special blend of spices, vegetables and apple) to help bring out the natural sweetness and robust flavor of the pork. This is definitely a good portion to buy as takeaway or for sharing!

Next, we were each served a bowl of their Special Katsudon (1958/Apr) – $16.50. This yummy bowl of goodness had been awarded the No.1 Donburi in Japan. Featuring their signature pork katsu imbedded in omelet, this donburi comes with a runny side up egg yolk on the top for added oomph as you burst it and eat it all together with the fluffy rice underneath! Absolutely warm comfort food with every bite!

We were next treated to their Black Pig Katsu Curry (1995/Apr) – $17.50 (100g)/$19.70 (140g). The Black Pig is a house favourite and only the most tender and flavorful premium grade pork loin, Kurobuta is used for the dishes. Kurobuta is well known for finer fat marbling and shorter muscle fiber, which makes the pork tender and succulent but not greasy. Breaded with Panko and deep-fried to perfection in cotton seed oil, this delicious piece of pork is served with their special curry sauce.

Even though I had just finished a bowl of Katsudon, I somehow managed to find room in my tummy for this Katsu Curry. Not to mention the tempting smells that greeted us when the bowls were placed in front of us, it was simply too hard to resist spooning a rice mixed with the curry and I was definitely not disappointed!

It was my first time trying Kurobuta which was sort of like the Wagyu beef of beef (if you get what I mean) and it was really different from regular pork cutlet. Very juicy, very tender and not fatty at all!

We also had ala-carte toppings of Ebi Fry $3.50/pc and Cheese Pork $3.80/pc which were basically breaded fried king prawns and a fillet pork ball with a gooey melty cheese center. The latter is definitely one for the cheese lovers and a great twist to the regular cheese sausage that oozes cheese with each bite!

And finally to end off our little feast was a bowl of Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen (2007/Jul) – $15.50, the youngest and newest addition to the family and also one that was created specially for Singaporeans who love a good spicy kick!

Paired with the special chili chicken minced meat, wakame, a lovely boiled egg, a sprinkling of spring onions and a generous helping of daikon, this was a definite winner for all spicy ramen lovers! The soup base had obviously been simmered and boiled for a long time to embody the full flavour it had and the chilli chicken meat held true to its spicy claim.

2 sandwiches + 2 bowls of rice + 1 bowl of ramen definitely left me very full but also very satisfied. The good people at Ginza Bairin were certainly very generous with their serving sizes even though these were only ‘sample’ portions!

And now you too get to try out some of Ginza Bairin’s offerings at discounted prices with their weekday specials with sets starting from as low as $9.90!

PLUS! With every purchase of the special weekday set, my readers get to enjoy a FREE ala cate topping of Chicken Kara-age!

All you have to do is shout “I LOVE Gninethree, Ginza Bairin Ichiban!” and you get your free Chicken Kara-age! This special promotion is on till the end of July and only at the JCube branch!

Thank you Athena, Ashley and Ginza Bairin for the invitation and the warm hospitality! :)

2 Jurong East Central 1
JCube #B1-K05
Singapore 609731


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