Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is my favourite place to get authentic tonkatsu. I’ve dined at their Publika and USJ Main Place branches before, but never at the original in 1Utama (don’t ask me why – I just never did it lol). Recently I went back to the office to pack, and since the mall is nearby, I stopped by for lunch. It so happened that the outlet is celebrating their 7th anniversary and are offering 50% off all their sets (from 11am – 8PM) until November 30 – so I got an EXTREMELY value for money deal.
The shop is tucked within ISETAN. It can be quite difficult to find because it’s hidden in a corner – just follow the signage when you get to the Japanese resto section.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison was founded in Tokyo in 1976 by Akinori Terazawa – who after failing to find the perfect tonkatsu, set out to make his own specialty outlet. To date, they have 16 outlets across Japan, five in Singapore and three in Malaysia.
The restaurant boasts a classy interior with cool grey walls, sleek wooden furniture and black and white photos/calligraphy. The aesthetics are standard across all of their branches.
The highlight at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is the Rosu Katsu (RM27.90) – a juicy 160g deep fried pork loin cooked to golden brown perfection. What makes it so addictive is the ratio of lean to fat, so you get a wonderful medley of textures in your mouth: soft and tender lean meat, melt-on-your-tongue fat, all enveloped in a crunchy, breaded crust. Each set is served with pickled ginger slices, cabbage and mustard to cut through the oiliness, fluffy white rice and warm miso soup. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more satisfying than shovelling down big spoonfuls of white rice with something salty and deep fried. (PS: they offer free rice, soup and salad refills!) For big eaters, go the whole hog and order the Jumbo Rosu Katsu (RM32.90), which weighs in at a hefty 250g.
If pork loin isn’t your thing, you can opt for hire katsu (pork fillet, which is leaner). You can also choose to get Miso Rosu Katsu/Hire Katsu, Kakifurai (deep fried oyster), Jumbo Ebifurai (deep fried shrimp), sakana (white fish), chicken or a mix of a few different fried items.
The food is good on its own, but you can elevate it with various sauces. The spicy offers a good kick, while the sweet goes really well with the meat and balances out the saltiness. I usually put sesame dressing on the salad – but you can use it as a dip for your meat too.
Thanks to the promo, my meal cost only RM16++ which is a steal for the portion and quality. The promo is available until the end of November 30 at the 1 Utama outlet only. Stop by if you’re in the area! 🙂
TONKATSU BY MA MAISON (1 UTAMA)
Level 2, Isetan, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, PJ, 47800 Selangor.
Phone: +603-7727 3337
Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM
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The thing about good food?
Once you’ve tasted something so spectacular, it’s hard to go back to ‘normal’, because everything else seems mediocre by comparison. Take tonkatsu, for example. Before I found Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, I never knew any other type of deep fried, breaded Japanese pork loin except the dry, cheap shit that many restos here served. TMM changed that. Ever since then, I’ve been looking out for places that claim to serve good tonkatsu, to see if they can hit that benchmark.
Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen has been at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur for years now, but I’ve never gotten down to trying it. The chance presented itself while I was in the city the other day. The resto is not big but cosy, with ample space and a wood/black/beige colour scheme. Prices are steep, but as expected of the location.
I ordered the Curry Tonkatsu – a house specialty – but was disappointed with the mediocre portion. I wanted to chalk it up to the plate being big, but nope – rice was generous, but there wasn’t enough meat to go around. It did come served with a side of miso soup and tofu, though.
Bouncy tofu with a bit of bite.
Tastewise, it was good, with a crunchy exterior and a nice balance of lean and fat. Juicy on the inside. But nothing near TMM’s quality. The curry was tepid – would have liked it to be warmer – but seasoned well.
It was really the price that made me feel a tad disappointed, because it was pricier than TMM (RM30++), but so much smaller in portion. I suppose if you’re in the city and craving for Tonkatsu, this could be an option. I have yet to try Tonkatsu Anzu over at Lot 10, which was highly recommended by a friend, so that’s next on the list!
- Price: RM30+ for mains
- Food: 3.5/5
- Service: 4/5
- Ambience: 3.5/5
TONKATSU BY WA KITCHEN
6.12, 6th Floor, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM
There are two things that make me want to blog about a restaurant pronto.
a) The food is so bad I had to rant to dispel the psychological trauma caused; and
b) The food is so good I can’t contain the excitement lol.
Thankfully, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison at Main Place Mall, USJ is the latter.
I’ve been having an intense craving for tonkatsu (aka Japanese breaded deep fried pork cutlet) since last week…and I finally succumbed to temptation on Tuesday night. Popular opinion on Google suggested I head to Tonkatsu by Ma Maison.
The brand, founded in Tokyo in 1976, was started by one Akinori Terazawa – who after failing to find the perfect tonkatsu, set out to make his own specialty outlet. To date, they have 16 outlets across Japan, five in Singapore and three in Malaysia.
The original in 1 Utama was too far from my workplace, so I decided to head closer to home where they have a branch in Main Place Mall, USJ.
The outlet was rather quiet (maybe coz weekday night) and service was friendly and efficient. The outlet looked classy, with light grey walls and matching dark furniture, decorated with subtle Japanese/porky touches – a pig in a chef’s hat hanging rom the wall, scrolls with Japanese writing, a glass window kitchen at the back.
Every table had a tray of sauces: sweet and spicy sauce, sesame dressing, soy sauce, roasted sesame and salt. Traditionally these sauces/condiments are eaten together with the tonkatsu.
After much pondering over whether to get the small (160g) or large, I decided to go the whole hog (lol) and get the Jumbo Rosu Katsu (250g) (RM32.90) – a humongous slab of breaded pork loin, deep fried to crispy golden perfection. All their sets come with a side of either white/brown rice, pickles, shredded cabbage, miso soup, radish, hot/cold roast tea and a dessert after. Considering their generous portion, I think it’s very value for money.
Kicking things off with the radish ball, drenched in soy sauce for flavour. Cold and mushy, this made for a great starter to clean the palate and whet the appetite.
I usually hate cabbage, but this was fresh and didn’t have that yucky, earthy aftertaste – it was refreshing, especially when topped with roasted sesame and the dressing. The mustard was crazy and nearly knocked me out (or at least my throat and nostrils) with its pungent aroma so I gave that a pass.
Now let’s get on to the real star, shall we?
OMG I cannot. Even. Begin. To describe this.
Look at that juiciness. That tenderness. The wonderful balance of lean and fat, all enveloped in a crispy outer shell of bread crumbs and crunchiness. Since the cutlet was fried in vegetable oil, it didn’t have that cloying greasiness that often happens with deep fried items. Sometimes pork is notoriously hard to get right coz cook it too much and it gets dry and tough, but there was no such problem here. Firm without being tough, soft in all the right places – just a beautifully done pork cutlet. The sauces complemented rather than overpower the taste of the meat.
As testament to its deliciousness, I finished the whole 250g jumbo portion all by mahself.
PS If you’re a big eater, good news: FREE rice and soup refills!
Speaking of soup, the miso wasn’t the thin sht some cheap Japanese joints here give you. This came chock full of veggies and ingredients, including onion slices, mushrooms and konnyaku. To round off the meal was a jelly with a hint of honey.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison certainly did not disappoint, and I’m wondering if their outlet in 1U is even better. Will pay a visit when the next tonkatsu craving hits! 🙂
Food: the tonkatsu gets a 10/10.
Service: 9/10 – servers were courteous and attentive.
TONKATSU by MA MAISON (USJ Branch)
Lot 2F- 2nd Floor, Main Place, 19, Jalan USJ 21/10, Usj 21, 47630 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Open daily: 10AM-10.30PM