Katsuhama is a hidden gem just off the main tourist drag not to mention busy-as business strip, Fifth Avenue. It’s a Japanese restaurant that focuses on the golden panko-crumbed portions of food.
They have a small take away section also with but the best part is inside either near the sushi bar or at the many small tables. The menu is simple with different set menus or classic variations including katsu curry and katsu don(buri).
Our waiter, not Japanese, took our order without even writing down so we were sceptical about whether or not he would get it right. Almost immediately we were served a bowl of miso soup, I think, that was complimentary. Strangely I got a second bowl without even asking, I think because a waiter thought I wanted some more.
Soon after we were done with the soup they soon brought out our meals, mine being the assorted katsu including a huge prawn, pork, chicken and a crab meat croquette. All of the fried items sat atop a small wire rack, alongside a large heap of cabbage that you dress with the sesame dressing that sits at the table. Complete with a small bowl of lovely Japanese white rice and the dark katsu sauce provides for a very filling meal.
Service was prompt with fresh green tea for free arriving immediately when we sat down. They also seemed to have plenty of excess salad with a waiter serving up a whole bunch more as soon as I had the last remnants in my mouth. I couldn’t even say no as he was too quick at plating it.
If you’re craving katsu, this is a great place and although slightly disappointed with the pork that was a little too dry, both the prawn and chicken kutlets were simply stunning!
Location: 11 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
The Good: Katsu perfection! What it does, it does well.
The Not So Good: Can be particularly crowded or crammed in.