Experiencing Steak Katsu (Gyukatsu) in Japan for the First Time

Steak Katsu (or gyukatsu) is relatively new in Japan. It’s so new that not even my Japanese relatives knew about it when I went to go visit them in November 2016. Katsu, meaning (fried) cutlet, is very common in Japan, but most of the time, it’s made with pork or chicken. There’s a few places that I know of that currently serve steak katsu and Shibuya is one of them. 

Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com

I did some research before going to Gyukatsu Motomura in Shibuya and learned that since this restaurant is so popular, you could be waiting in line for at least an hour. The restaurant is very tiny and only seats 10 people at a time, so space is very limited. I knew we had to go early right when they opened. Online, it says that the restaurant opens at 11 AM, so I made sure we were there by 10:30 AM to get in line first thing in the morning. To my surprise, the restaurant was already open and there was already a line to get in. I believe their new hours are now from 10 AM - 11 PM.  Luckily, the line was still short and we only waited 20 minutes. 

Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com

While we were in line, the waiter took our order for us.  They have a special English menu and there’s 2 choices: 130 grams or 260 grams. We went with the 130 grams and it was the perfect amount. When we got seated, there was a bin in front of us to place our belongings and the waiter hung our coat for us. About 5 minutes after we were seated, our entree was ready.

Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com
Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com

The entree comes with cabbage, potato salad, rice, miso soup and various sauces. The steak katsu is cut into pieces and you cook each piece to your liking on a little grill in front of you. There are three ways to eat your steak katsu: 1) with wasabi and soy sauce 2) with horseradish or 3) with rock salt. We tried all three ways and they were all fantastic. The steak katsu itself is heavenly. Each piece just melts in your mouth and it’s so darn good. For the rice, you pour the tororo (grated yam) over it and it’s supposed to be very healthy for you. I personally like to eat my rice plain, so I only poured a little of the tororo over my rice.

Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com
Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com

At the end of our delicious meal, our friendly waiter was very curious to know how we heard about the restaurant. When we told him that we found out through Instagram, he was very surprised. 

Steak Katsu www.thetravelpockets.com

When we left the restaurant around 11:30AM, the line was super long with about 30 people waiting, so if you want to try steak katsu, make sure you arrive early like we did!

Would you try steak katsu? If you have already tried steak katsu, let us know how you liked it in the comments below!

SHIBUYA GYUKATSU MOTOMURA
ADDRESS: 3-18-10 Shibuya | B1F Ono Bldg. 2-Gokan, Shibuya 150-0002, Tokyo Prefecture
HOURS: Sun - Sat 10AM - 11PM
PHONE: +81 3-3797-3735