A Hiroshima City meat shop and restaurant serves a tonkatsu pork cutlet and rice dish for just 350 yen…and somehow stays in business.
Believe it or not, a lot of Japanese working men don’t actually control their own money. Instead, they receive a daily allowance from their wives, who often are in charge of the couple’s finances. Depending on the couple, the money doled out for simple daily necessities like lunch can be as low as 500 yen (roughly US$4.70) or even less, meaning many men must become extremely adept at finding great deals and discounts (or, failing that, rummaging around in dumpsters).
Because of this, many Japanese food retailers and restaurants offer up lunch deals right around that 500 yen sweet spot, but we managed to find a Hiroshima shop — specializing in meat — that may have taken it a little too far with a tonkatsu pork cutlet dish listed at just 350 yen with a side of rice. Naturally, it was our resident gourmand, Mr. Sato, who discovered the place.
Niku no Masui (interesting note: the restaurant spells the “i” with the archaic Japanese character, “ゐ”) is a meat shop and restaurant located in Hiroshima City’s Hachobori district. Aside from the tonkatsu, the restaurant section of Niku no Masui serves up standards like pork chops, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, hamburger steak and such, but, look, we’re flat broke damn near all the time — despite not even being married — so it was that super cheap tonkatsu we were after!
Amazingly, Niku no Masui’s tonkatsu cutlet dish costs less than dirt cheap standards like french fries and even the ubiquitous izakaya snack edamame. Mr. Sato noted that what arrived at his table after ordering was a breaded and fried pounded pork cutlet rather than a thick cut you’d typically imagine when describing tonkatsu. Nevertheless, the cutlet was impressive in size and drenched in Niku no Masui’s own demi glace, which had a smooth, mellow taste, rather than the standard Japanese demi glaces’ rich and heavy mouthfeel.
Overall, the restaurant’s tonkatsu was wonderful – bordering on habit forming. And, with a side of rice and a serving of mashed potatoes hidden underneath the cutlet, it proved a filling and delicious, though carb-centric, budget option for cheap-o eaters. Check out the location details below for the next time you’re in Hiroshima!
Niku no Masui
Address: Hiroshima-ken, Hiroshima-shi, Naka-ku Hachobori 14-12
Open 11:00 a.m – 8:45 p.m.
Closed on Wednesdays and the second Tuesday of every month
[ Read in Japanese ]