On a cool January weekend, we stopped for lunch at Saku on west Broadway (between Cambie and Ash St). There was a long line, so we left our names and took a short stroll, before returning 20 minutes later.
Saku is a chain of tonkatsu restaurants that originates from Japan.
Their menu is fairly concise, with variations of pork or chicken cutlets (as well as prawns, scallops, and even cheese), always breaded and deep fried to light crisp. Sides include udon noodles, cabbage slaw, etc.
I ordered the katsu curry set.
This is a marinated pork loin cutlet, deep fried, sliced, and served over rice.
It was served with a generous gravy boat filled with curry sauce, and a small bowl of fresh shredded cabbage, and a bowl of miso soup.
The miso soup was actually pretty good. It had a nice balance of savory and umami.
The cabbage slaw was crisp and fresh, and the accompanying miso dressing was both salty and sweet.
The pork cutlet was amazingly tender and juicy, and the deep fried coating was crisp and light, without being greasy.
The rice was cooked to the right doneness, fluffy and just slightly sticky.
The curry sauce was rich and thick, with bold spicy intensity (without much heat).
This was among the best tonkatsu that I’ve sampled anywhere.
The service was very attentive and friendly, consistent with the level of service that I received in Tokyo, years ago.
The space is modern and minimalist, airy and bright. The communal table I was seated at was a little cramped, but tolerable.