Maisen Tokyo Reviews
Classic spot with little ambience May 23, 2015
Maisen is one of the most famous tonkatsu spots in the city, and seems well loved and recommended by foreigners.
We tried it out because one of our other favorite spots (Katsukura in Shinjuku) was closed for renovations.
Maisen is located in a trendy part of town with lots of interesting side streets and higher end boutiques, but the restaurant itself lacks much charm. It is an older building and the area we were seated in was both cavernous and lacking in natural light. It felt more like we were eating in an ancient office building than in an actual restaurant.
The food itself is good, but definitely not any better than tonkatsu I've had in other parts of the city. There are pages of options; all of the photos look exactly the same, but apparently each page contains different cuts of meat. I ordered one of the most expensive kurobuta dishes from a farm where the pigs were raised "stress free" under the assumption that it would be one of the best the restaurant would have to offer.
The tonkatsu was good - but all you could really taste was the oil from the breading. At times it felt like I was just eating oil, but in solid and slightly crunchy form. It was tasty, but so is a stick of butter, and very quickly you reach a point of diminishing marginal returns.
In summary, nothing really blew me away. I don't think it's worth going out of your way to come here, the food is good but not special, and given the lack of ambience I would recommend trying out other spots in the city.
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