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Sunday, September 7, 2014

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN - HONOLULU, HAWAII

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN
HONOLULU, HAWAII

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN
255 BEACH WALK
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-926-8082
Open 7 Days a Week (Lunch and Dinner)

Nice to get back down to Beach Walk in Waikiki where just a half block from the beach you can enjoy some really good restaurants.  On this day we visited Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.  Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin is a Tokyo Ginza based specialty Tonkatsu (breaded, deep fried pork cutlet) restaurant offering a variety of signature dishes that have been kept true for three generations.  Established in 1927, Ginza Bairin was the first Tonkatsu restaurant in Ginza, as well as the first to offer the now popular "Bite Size Katsu" (Hitokuchi Katsu), "Tonkatsu Sauce" and the "Katsu Sandwich" (Katsu Sando).  Originally influenced by the European cuisine (Cutlet), Tonkatsu has been part of Japanese food culture since the late 19th century.  At Ginza Bairin, the main ingredient - pork - is carefully selected from the choicest loin, coated in fresh bread crumbs and masterfully deep fried in premium cotton seed oil to retain and highlight its award-winning texture, aroma and flavor.  According to the restaurant brochure what makes Bairin so special is the Pork - All natural, moist and tender Berkshire Pork (Blackline) from a designated farm in Alberta, Canada.  Next is the Oil - Premium 100% Cotton Seed Salad Oil from Japan that is light and non-greasy.  Bread Crumbs - Fresh (not dry) large- particle Panko from Japan creates extra crispiness.  Tonkatsu Sauce - Bairin's Original Tonkatsu Sauce from Japan is a blend of sweet and tangy flavors of fruits, vegetables and spices.  Rice - Premium Koskhihikari Rice cooked with purified water and Bincho charcoal.  Cabbage - Thinly sliced cabbage is a must have accompaniment to any Tonkatsu.  

My first question after reviewing the menu here was "is there anything that isn't fried?".  I asked the waitress and she pointed one dish that was not fried.  I ordered it.  But this is a Tonkatsu restaurant and fry is what they do so we tried a few different dishes to get our own take on Tonkatsu.  We started with a bowl of Edamame ($4.50) that did not come seasoned so we added salt and chili flakes.  The Tataki Kyuri (Spicy Cucumber) was not spicy but very delicious.  I wanted to order more but at $4.50 for a few slices of cucumber I decided not to.  The Kurobuta Pork Loin ($36) was a large piece of pork with a good mixture of meat and fat.  Really liked the pork flavor of this dish but just could not take all of the fried breading.  The Sauteed Ginger Pork Loin ($18) was not fried and pretty good.  I liked having a few vegetables on the plate.  The Pork Tenderloin ($23) was probably my favorite fried dish.  The Pork was very moist and full of flavor.  The rice here is good and I found myself eating more than I should have.  I also liked the Shredded Cabbage with Oriental Dressing.  Light, fresh and yummy.  The Miso Soup was also very good here.  We liked the atmosphere at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin and loved the staff and service.  Our waitress named Macy was fantastic.  Always filling our water, checking on our table and offering suggestions when ordering.  Really enjoyed our time here even though we are not big on fried foods.  This is a quality restaurant and if you like Tonkatsu this is the place to go.

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN ON BEACH WALK IN WAIKIKI
SMALL RESTAURANT THAT LOOKS LIKE A SUSHI BAR
BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE IS UP FRONT NEAR ENTRANCE
OUR TABLE HAD BAMBOO SEPARATION 
TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN MENU
MENU IN JAPANESE AND ENGLISH
A FEW SPECIALS 





SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS FOR YOUR TONKATSU
TONKATSU SAUCE
FRESH SESAME SEEDS
CRUSH THE SESAME SEEDS AT YOUR TABLE
ADD THE TONKATSU SUACE TO SESAME SEEDS
TONKATSU SAUCE WITH SESAME SEEDS
THE HOT MUSTARD HAS A NICE KICK
CUCUMBERS ARE DELICIOUS
LOVED THE CUCUMBER WITH A HINT OF GARLIC
EDAMAME
GINGER PORK LOIN SET
SAUTEED GINGER PORK LOIN WAS NOT FRIED
REALLY GOOD MISO SOUP
KUROBUTA SET
PORK LOIN KATSU 
NICE PIECE OF MEAT WITH A BIT OF FAT FOR FLAVOR
PORK TENDERLOIN 
PERFECTLY FRIED PORK
VERY MOIST AND FLAVORFUL INSIDE
ALL YOU CAN EAT CABBAGE WITH ORIENTAL OR FRENCH DRESSING

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