If could only eat one type of meat for the rest of my life, it would be meat from the humble pig. There are so many ways to enjoy it – pork, ham, prosciutto, pancetta and of course bacon. But everything tastes better when deep fried, so when I had a hankering for some porky goodness one night, where better to head to than Miso, a Japanese restaurant which specialises in tonkatsu.
Miso is part of the Masuya group which also has Japanese restaurants Masuya, Musashi and Makoto sushi bars. It serves meals teishoku style, which includes a main dish, miso soup, rice and a few smaller individual accompaniments alongside it (kobachi). For the non-pork eaters, they also have chicken katsu, as well as a range of udon noodle, curry and chirashi sushi dishes. But we were here for the tonkatsu, a pork cutlet which has been covered in panko crumbs and deep fried until golden and crunchy.
Sir D selects the katsu-tama set, which includes a tonkatsu pork loin topped with egg and onion in a sweet soy broth. Although some of the crispy panko crumb is rendered not-so-crispy by the broth, it has also taken on some of the flavours of the broth and imparts a nice sweetness to the tonkatsu.
As nice as the pork is, Sir D is much less enamoured by its accompaniments. The plate comes with a salad of shredded cabbage, carrot and a tomato slice with a dressing, a potato salad and konyaku, taro (yam) balls served with soy and sake. Neither of us particularly take to the konyaku, since we both don’t like taro, but I’m intrigued by them since they look and have the texture of Chinese beef balls, but with a sweet taro flavour. The potato salad is also left behind; it had that store-bought Kraft mayonnaise flavour whicn neither of us liked.
I choose one of the bento boxes on the menu which has a skewer of pork tonkatsu as the main dish on top of rice, miso soup and a range of side dishes all served in a big bowl with compartments. I love bento boxes since it gives you a little taste of everything, and I’m a sucker for all the cute compartments too! The salmon sashimi is very fresh and succulent, and I love all the deep fried things too including the soft shell crab and the vegetarian spring roll, both of which were freshly fried (I know because I nearly burnt myself trying to eat them!). There is also more potato salad, a skewer of tofu and a meatball, tamago (egg) and kamaboko (Japanese fish cake).
The skewer of pork katsu is super crunchy and biting into it, I find that the skewer is actually made up of separate chunks of pork which have been skewered onto the stick, rather than a mince of pork meat as I initially thought. The pork is very lean though, and I find after a while it becomes a bit dry since there’s not much fat in it and there’s only a little squiggle of tonkatsu sauce to overcome the dryness. The pieces of fruit and vegetables in the centre of the bowl provide some respite.
The service is a bit inconsistent – Sir D’s meal arrived quite a while before mine and there was also a bit of confusion over our bill where our change of $20+ wasn’t given back to us and we had to ask for it. But they were very apologetic about it and we leave happily with our pork cravings satisfied.
Shop 20 World Square Shopping Centre
644 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9283 9686
Open for lunch, Monday to Friday, 11.45am – 2.30pm
Open for dinner, Monday to Saturday, 5.30pm – 9.30pm
Bookings taken only Monday to Thursday, 11.45am-12.15pm and 5.30pm-6.15pm