katsu burger – ohayou gozaimasu

In the month of planning before the trip to Seattle/Portland, I read a good amount about Katsu Burger. When we started to place all our intended eats on a map, I was bummed out to see how it was not exactly in downtown Seattle. Plans to go to Katsu Burger were chalked up as tentative, since there were lots of wedding activities and much closer burgers to eat.

I finally got my eyes on a menu two days before going and I told my friend that we HAD to go. The concept at this place is so neat and crazy but it could totally work if pulled off properly.

For those of you who don’t know, (ton)katsu is traditionally a pork cutlet which has been breaded and fried. This place serves the meat in their burgers, katsu style. They are dipped in a tempura batter and coated in panko before deep frying. The burgers, sans the “katsu style” meat, are served like regular ones, with bread and toppings. The burgers here all have Japanese inspiration/influence and are topped with sauces like Kewpie mayo, tonkatsu sauce, or teriyaki. Their menu has specific meats for their burgers but you can swap whichever meat you want. The options are the beef, marinated tofu, or brined chicken & pork.

There were so many burgers and it took us a bit to figure out which ones we wanted to try (We were sharing many of these meals, not eating multiples burgers in one sitting, haha. Not that you’d put that past me, of course). Since we didn’t have breakfast that morning, we were pretty hungry and went with two Ohayou Gozaimasus.

Ohayou Gozaimasu means Good Morning in Japanese, so most of the ingredients would be what you’d expect from a breakfast burger. Served on a locally baked sesame seeded kaiser roll is the katsu prepared beef patty, cheddar, fried egg, thick cut bacon, Kewpie mayo, tonkatsu sauce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, and pickles. She went with the beef and I swapped for pork in mine.

These burgers weren’t just beautiful, they were also some of the best ones I’ve ever had. All the flavors really complimented each other well. I certainly enjoyed the pork over the beef, as katsu is traditionally served with pork cutlets and it was tender and full of flavor while maintaining a crispy outside. Not trying to downplay the beef, of course, since that was still a very tasty burger, it just didn’t have as crispy of an outside.

In addition to our burgers, we got a side of fries, wasabi coleslaw, and a black sesame milkshake. The shoestring fries come with your choice of three different seasonings (sea salt, curry, or nori) and a dipping sauce (Kewpie mayo, tonkatsu sauce, curry mayo, teriyaki sauce, miso honey mustard, wasabi mayo, sriracha sauce, or spicy mayo). We got the curry fries with curry mayo. Both very tasty though we didn’t finish em (the portion was huge). The black sesame milkshake was great as was the wasabi coleslaw.

I haven’t been that happy after consuming a burger in a while. Despite being in a small strip mall next to a convenience store, the space had a lot of burger/Japanese art on the walls and super friendly staff. This place alone makes me want to be in Seattle even more.

If you’re a burger fan and are planning to be in Seattle, take the trip down to Katsu Burger, I promise it’s worth it!

Oh, I was so happy that this also happened. Thanks for the photo Denise!

Katsu Burger
6538 4th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108

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royal sushi & izakaya pop-up at the khyber pass pub

Before the Khyber became the Khyber Pass Pub, there were talks about it becoming an izakaya of some sorts. The name of the izakaya is Royal Sushi & Izakaya and Chef Todd Dae Kulper will be in charge. The location is still to be determined so they’re going to have a series of these pop-ups and the pop-up this past Monday at the Khyber Pass Pub was the first.

pork belly buns

If you showed up on Monday, you’re well aware how much of a madhouse the Khyber was. The pop-up started at 5pm and I arrived around 6pm to meet up with some friends. When I got there, the wait was about an hour. Lucky for me, one of my friends had a seat at the bar…which eventually led to our party sitting at the bar. Within the next hour, I overheard some people say that it was now a 3 hour wait!

grilled eggplant buns

Even though the featured dish was the hakata style ramen, there were several items on the menu to choose from: crispy bok choy, pork belly buns, grilled trigger fish jerky, grilled eggplant buns, and gyoza, just to name a few.

grilled trigger fish jerky

The grilled trigger fish jerky was tasty. It came with a small dollop of Kewpie mayo. Does anyone know if you could special order this stuff anywhere? It’s quite fishy but I could totally eat it as a snack. They do have dried seafood “jerky” snacks at the Asian market after all.

hitachino nest real ginger brew

In addition to the food, there was beer and two specialty cocktails. Sorry, I can’t remember what the cocktails were. Sapporo was served as well as three different Hitachino beers, the Real Ginger Brew, the White Ale, and the Classic Ale. I was able to try all three and the ginger one was my favorite.

I’m new to the world of legit ramen. Before this night, the only ramen experiences I had were from college and childhood…and that ramen was of the instant noodle variety of course, so keep that in mind if you thought this ramen was bad. I found the hakata style ramen to be satisfying. It had a bunch of ingredients including pork shoulder, pork belly, a soft boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, spicy miso, scallions, and more. Not sure how much meat should normally be in ramen, but I wouldn’t have complained if there was more in my bowl.

In the end, I’m glad I got to try out some of the dishes. Once Royal Sushi & Izakaya sets up shop, I’ll definitely come in for a ramen fix, especially since Philly seems to have a lack of ramen places, unlike that other city.

I would imagine they’d be posting updates as to when their next pop-up will be on here.

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yakitori boy

Yakitori Boy is a Japanese restaurant located in the northwest section of Philly’s Chinatown. It has a real chill, modern feel and atmosphere. They specialize in yakitori (obviously).

I started off with agedashi tofu. I blame my gf on that. Pretty much every Japanese restaurant we’ve been to, she ordered agedashi tofu. I eventually became hooked. Their agedashi tofu was alright though…

I wanted to try all different kinds of yaki but decided on the “chef’s choice” since it had 10 pieces of yaki for 20 bucks, which seemed like a good deal since the average price of yaki is about $2 – $2.50. The 10 pieces consisted of chicken meat balls, chicken & scallion, bacon, and two others (both chicken I believe). They were all good, but I wish they were 10 different pieces, not 10 total, 5 different varieties… oh well.

Lastly, I finished up the meal with mango mochi ice cream….gahhh mochi ice cream is just heaven. If you haven’t had any yet, get out there and try some!

Overall, the food was satisfying. The service was good and friendly. It’s definitely is a great place to meet up with friends. There’s also a lounge/karaoke bar upstairs, Japas, which I have yet to check out.

Yakitori Boy
211 N. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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