Dachshund, Adam Driver, and katsu are all words that elicit a very strong reaction from us. We’ll be honest, it’s a reaction you might find alarming. Often it involves making a solid lowel-level hum, sweating, and excitedly looking around, high on life, like that one time you tried shoplifting in Claire’s. But kooky actors and tiny sausage-shaped mammals aside, it’s our love for katsu that we’re here to talk about today. This Japanese classic should feature heavily in everyone’s rotation of day-to-day dishes and you might as well get involved in some of the best London has to offer, including prawn katsu sushi, excellent sandos, and big comforting curry bowls.
All restaurants featured are open for delivery and takeaway.
Koya’s Udon. That’s what we’re going to name our firstborn. Sure it might be a little rough on the playground, but it’s always an honour to be named after a legend. Jokes aside, this laid-back noodle bar serves the kind of food that worms its udon-y way into your heart to the point that you think about it at least six times a week. All of their curry dishes are worth your attention, but when you’re trying to satisfy a katsu craving, it’s the tonkatsu or, even better, the katsudon that you need to order. Breaded aged pork loin, egg, steamed rice, with a classic side of complimentary miso soup. Fantastic.
Iberico Pork Katsu Sando
Introducing the sando that birthed a million smug Instagram posts. If you’re one of those people that likes lining up your pens and colour-coordinating your bookshelf, prepare to feel a little turned on when you first feel this flawless formation of meat and bread. The real star of this sandwich is the tender pork but there’s still a decent hit of saucy katsu flavours. Sadly this aesthetically stunning pork triumph is over a tenner, which arguably is pretty steep for a sandwich, but trust us, it’s worth it.
n.b. Arcade Food Theatre is currently closed, but you can order a DIY katsu sando kit here.
Ebi Katsu Futomaki
Some people get very upset when restaurants are creative with sushi. We’ve seen it firsthand. Someone ranting about the sanctity of salmon, accidentally reciting some terrible fishy remix of Jojo’s Leave about fried chicken in sushi, chopsticks held up like they’re ready for battle. No. Hard pass on that behaviour, because if that’s your mindset you’ll miss out on things like Sushi Head’s ebi katsu futomaki. As well as your classic tuna sashimi and salmon temaki, this tiny Japanese grocery shop in Tottenham also serves hefty katsu sushi rolls packed full of deep fried prawn and avocado. Crunchy, creamy, and creative.
Pillow soft white bread, panko-crusted pork, a dollop of mustard. This is the sandwich kids will be eating on the coach at 10am in 3018. And you know what, we’re bloody jealous. Bright is a truly fantastic restaurant that breaks our hearts regularly by changing their menu. This katsu sando has come and gone, returned and then disappeared once more, that’s why whenever it pops back you need to run - do not walk - to this sando. What about work? What about that date with my beloved? All of that’s replaceable, Bright sando memories are forever.
Chicken Katsu Wrap
We feel mild to moderate shame that despite ordering from this place every single week in our former lives, we could not remember what it was called. You know, that place, they sold katsu wraps? Turns out, it’s helpfully called - drumroll please - Katsu Wraps. But what’s completely unforgettable was how tasty, filling, and affordable their wraps are. For just a fiver you get a huge portion of fried breaded chicken katsu and house salad, all wrapped up so you can eat katsu on the go. Find them at Petticoat Lane Market from 11am - 3pm.
Chicken Katsu Curry
We like Kurumaya’s chicken katsu curry because it has that proper homemade feel. Think huge homely bowls of rice, crunchy panko chicken, and a thick sauce where you can taste all the fresh vegetables that went into it, with just a hint of sweetness. Basically, it’s a proper hug of a dish. Just down the road from the Barbican, Kurumaya is an intimate little restaurant (read as: tiny) and it’s always worth getting a round of sushi here too.