Ah Katsuya, awesome place with awesome food, I usually start with the Miso base pork broth soup(Tonjiru) and Chilled Spinach with sliced Shitake mushroom(Horenso Ohitashi) and then have either the lamb or beef katsu set, however lately i have shifted to eating grilled rosu which is nicely roasted, it just explodes in your mouth with the taste and the sauce.
The atmosphere does remind me some of the more expensive restaurants in melbourne but the backdrop of the tokyo rainbow bridge brings back fond memories of Japan. That aside, it's fairly close to 112 katong, near the overhead bridge, if you are looking for good katsu or just looking for a good japanese meal within the 30 dollar range, look no further than katsuya!
We were looking for a few criteria:
1) Delicious Japanese cooked food (as opposed to raw)
2) Wife's Birthday Dinner
3) Nearby (we live in the East)
4) Something new and different
Katsuya fulfilled all of the above! We ordered the Black Pork Katsu, as well as a 'standard' Tamago Katsudon, and we washed it down with hot Yuzu tea.
The Black Pork Katsu is particularly fantastic. It had all the right amount of fat and meat, and it was definitely different from the usual Katsu fare (think Saboten). It also came with unlimited cabbage (but only if everyone ordered the Katsu dish, we didn't). The tamago katsudon wasn't really great, though, and we regretted not ordering two of the Black Pork Katsu.
It's run by a husband-and-wife team. The wife takes the order and the husband cooks behind the glass kitchen. They mentioned in the menu that while they were short-staffed, they would not compromise on the food quality and it was definitely true.
We went on a Thursday evening and it was pretty empty, save for 2-3 groups of Japanese speaking clients (that's how you tell it's authentic Jap food). Definitely coming back again...
I have been frequenting Katsuya over the past three years and have enjoyed all of the meals I had there. The katsu is delicious and not as oily as other popular katsu restaurants in town. The light colour of the katsu crumb is also indicative of the good quality fresh oil that they used (as opposed to the dark cooking oil that has been re-used for frying many times).
Their seasonal buta kakuni with Japanese mustard is a delicious melts-in-your-mouth treat, and is a must try dish if it is on the menu.
The husband and wife duo who runs the shop as a team are warm and friendly, and it's a place I would love to go more often, if only it is not so far!