I love looking out the window at storefronts while on the bus – it serves as both entertainment as well as an indicator that I am heading in the right direction as I do have a penchant for hopping on a bus and then realizing I never checked exactly which bus I just entered. I started noticing Katsuya on one of these trips as it seemed a little out of place just between the two major hubs for food along that strip of Yonge.
Several weeks after, I was discussing with QuirkyAesthetics on where we should eat, and the thought of Katsuya popped up. In the interim, I had seen deliciously cheese-filled photos of their katsu which solidified my interest.
Location: 6048 Yonge St
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:30am to 10:30pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am to 11pm
Sunday: 11:30am to 9pm
Atmosphere: Casually snug
Service: Friendly and accommodating
If you are endlessly optimistic, you can try to park in one their three parking spots just in front of the restaurant; if you are like me, park along Yonge Street or at Finch Station and walk the ten minutes over.
Katsuya is a small spot but the inside is decorated well and you feel like you’ve entered a different world once you step in. We did call ahead to check if there were space, and were seated immediately at a two-person table.
Their menu is pretty straightforward; you choose the type of dish you want, ranging from their Original to some pretty interesting combos such as Carbonara or White Snow Chilli. Then you choose your katsu: pork loin, pork tender, chicken, cheese, double cheese, or fish. If you’re not feeling katsu, they do have udon. I chose the Original Cheese Katsu, she went with the Carbo Udon, and we got the Cheese Crabmeat Croquettes to share.
Everything came promptly, and as we were both taking photos, our waitress added another table to let us sit more comfortably. Once we finished, we dove in with gusto.
The croquettes were fluffy and crispy on the outside, and had a good ratio of potato, crabmeat, and cheese. You might even get a string of cheese when biting into these! This is everything I look for whenever I order croquettes, and now it will be hard to be satisfied elsewhere.
I was very excited to try the cheese katsu and it did not disappoint. It also had the fluffy crispy exterior, and the cheese was layered under the breading. The sauce was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury and added flavour without overpowering the dish.
Between the deep fry, cheese, and potato, the flavours do become a little overwhelming, but the cabbage and pickled radish on the side really helped cleanse the palate between bites, something I really appreciate with flavour-intensive food. Apparently rice, cabbage, and miso soup has unlimited refills, but I wasn’t able to finish my first serving to get refills.
I honestly can’t wait to come back to try more dishes; the food and the service was fantastic and I wish every katsu I had was like theirs. If you’re in the area and debating between Katsuya and MeNami; while there is a little overlap, they do remain distinct – MeNami definitely has more of a bar feel with its late hours, extensive drinks menu, and variety of tapas. Katsuya has a more family-friendly feel with their generous portions and upbeat atmosphere. One things is for sure – you won’t be disappointed at either place.