Shinano, a new restaurant

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Shinano, a new restaurant near Kasuga station, serves the best tonkatsu in the neighborhood.

Brightly lit and freshly decorated with traditional tables in blonde wood and hanging lamps with white washi shades, the focus of this eatery is the quality of their meat.

Tokatsu is crispy breaded, deep fried pork cutlet. Shinano starts off with a base of tenderised pork--I heard the chef pounding tomorrow's servings as we ate a late dinner--and adds a perfect breading. The outside is flaky, light and fried to a crisp golden brown. Inside, the pork was buttery in texture with no extra fat and not a bit of sinew or gristle. Chewing optional.

Spicy Chinese mustard or a thick worchestershire-based barbecue sauce adds extra flavor. Traditional side dishes accompanied the filet katsu dinner: steamed white rice; a pile of shrededed raw cabbage; brine-pickled cabbage, cucumbers and eggplant; and a rich miso soup with tofu, mushrooms and mistuba.

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