Katsuya first opened in North York as Mr, Tonkatsu but recently re-branded in order to expand their menu. The new menu still centres around katsu, but offers a selection of appetizers and some twists on the traditional Japanese dish. I was invited by Darren, DKLo of DKLoEvents, to a media night at Katsuya to taste a selection of Katsuya’s menu items. Dishes were served family style and I nibbled on a few bites from each plate. The tasting really whet my appetite for a return visit to enjoy a sit down meal myself.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

Katsuya was located on Yonge, just north of Finch with a few parking spots available out front. Inside, the decor was industrial with two large communal tables and a few smaller ones for groups of 2-4. On a weeknight the restaurant was quiet, besides our group taking up the bulk of seats, however I was surprised by the number of customers who stopped by to grab takeout. All of the dishes arrived piping hot from the kitchen, and for the most part stayed warm even after their photoshoots.

For dinner, 2 appetizers and over 10 katsu plates were served for us to try. Dishes arrived at a steady pace, much faster than we were photographing, and our table quickly filled to capacity. Our servers began to shuffle orders between the two tables to accommodate us. The 2 appetizers we tried were Cheese Crab Meat Croquette and Curry Karaage. I really liked the stack of croquettes, which was flavourful and meaty with a crispy exterior.

All of the katsu at Katsuya were thin, golden and perfectly fried. The pork was tender, juicy and the exterior crunchy. Even when the katsu was served with a sauce, the crispy exterior held up. Of all the dishes I tried, a few stood out for me. First was the Katsuya Original, Double Cheese Katsu. The cheese pull from picking up a piece was mouth watering and the cheese worked especially well with the spicy sauce. My next favourite dish was the Curry Katsuya, a thin piece of deep fried pork loin served with a thick Japanese curry sauce, a perfect comfort dish. An interesting dish that I also liked was the Terri Mayo Katsu, chicken katsu that was served with Japanese mayo, bonito flakes and shredded seaweed, aka takoyaki toppings. I thought this was a nice twist and added a bit more umami to the katsu. Lastly the Carbonara Fish Katsu was a surprising hit. The fillet of fish was breaded, deep fried and served with a creamy carbonara sauce. This was a lighter option made decadent with the sauce.

Each katsu was served with a puck of steamed rice and a shredded cabbage salad with a sesame dressing. After eating all the deep fried katsu, the salad was very refreshing and quite addictive. I found myself reaching for bowl after bowl of cabbage while others polished off the mains.

Overall, dinner at Katsuya was very satisfying with a wide selection of dishes to choose from. My biggest challenge would be narrowing down my order to just one entree.

Katsuya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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