Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, Singapore
Address: 333A Orchard Road, #02-35 & #02-36 Mandarin Gallery, 238897
Telephone: +65 6733 4541
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:00am – 2:30pm, 5:30am – 10:00pm, Weekends 11:00am – 10:00pm
Facebook: Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
Japanese food is all the rage here in Singapore. Ramen this, Tonkatsu there, Sushi over there, and some long lines for bubble tea in between.
I’m a Japanese restaurant snob in Singapore and always think it’s glorified versus the quintessential cuisine I eat in Tokyo (Except for a well chosen few restaurants that rose above my expectations like Hoshino Coffee). Everything in Japan is so simple and excellent in taste that I have no qualms whatsoever if I’m paying more than what I normally would. But here in Singapore, it’s always overhyped. Most of the time, Tonkatsu is an epic fail in Singapore.
I was on a search for the best Tonkatsu in Singapore (and some would say it’s Tampopo. But mind you, Tampopo shuttered its doors in Manila for failing to capture the right customers. Nobody would dare pay $15 for a tonkatsu on top of ramen.). I personally have never tried Tampopo in Singapore, because coming from Manila, I already have some preconceived notions of how I would be paying SGD 30 per meal that doesn’t equate to really great cuisine.
I happen to try Tonkichi in Ngee Ann City / Takashimaya once, and while it was priced reasonably, it wasn’t stellar. The non-existence of panko breading was almost a sin to the Tonkatsu gods and felt that Yabu: House of Katsu back in Manila was loads better than this.
This was Tonkichi’s Rosu tonkatsu set. What an epic disappointment.
Right across it was Ma Maison from Nagoya, a dimly lit French Japanese restaurant that seems to attract a steady flow of customers because of its quaint decorations. I was attracted to it and found myself liking its Australian Rib-eye. (That would be in a separate review). As it turns out, Ma Maison also owns Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, and thus led me to actually try it and witness for myself.
Interestingly, Ma Maison mirrors my experience at Maisen located in Aoyama, a former WWII bathhouse turned trending Tonkatsu place. I was served some raddish for appetizer and thankfully, knew how to eat it. At Maisen, I was clueless as to how to eat it.
I could safely say if you are looking for some really good tonkatsu in Singapore, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison doesn’t disappoint. Pork in fried panko breading was perfectly crisp with just the amount of juiciness in the strips of rosu. Ebi Fry is as good as the pork, and for a premium Japanese restaurant, it’s value for money.
The photos tell the story. See for yourself the stark contrast between Tonkichi and Tonkatsu by Ma Maison.