It’s a bit expensive for a regular Tuesday night dinner, but when it’s a Tuesday night “Jesus-like last supper before tomorrow’s MCO” dinner, I can forgive the prices. Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is the well-loved Japanese chain specialising in pork tonkatsu. Even their plasticised bowls of pork out front look appetizing and have been intriguing me for months.
Ambience & Amenities
If you think pigs are nothing but filthy but delicious animals, be prepared to see them from a new, adorable angle. Hanging pig lanterns and other darling pig decors fill the restaurant. The seating is classy yet comfortable dark wood cushioned chairs with a long bench seat running down the left side of the restaurant. Shortly after you are seated, a tray with a variety of condiments will be brought to the table. Some options include Kewpie roasted sesame dressing, soy sauce, and tonkatsu sauce in the two teapots.
There is no toilet inside Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, but luckily the 163 Retail Park washrooms are located right next door. Exit the restaurant, turn right and go down the corridor that is next to the escalators.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison now has a contactless menu that you can browse on your phone. The QR code will be in a flipbook on the table. If your phone sucks, you can still ask for their physical menu like the one that is on display outside the restaurant.
This is mainly a pork restaurant, but Tonkatsu by Ma Maison does have chicken and seafood katsu sets further down the menu. All of the tonkatsu sets come with your choice of white or multigrain rice, and the rice, cabbage and soup have free refills. Before the meal arrives, a ball of grated white radish will arrive at the table. I was confused at this, but I’m sure this is some sort of Japanese palate-cleansing custom.
The Rosu Katsu Set (RM27.90) is the classic pork tonkatsu experience with a thick cap of succulent fat along the edges. Though we ordered the “small” version (160g of pork), there was still five hefty pieces of tonkatsu in this. Rounding out the meal is the rice, miso soup, pickled radish, a dollop of yellow wasabi, and a mound of shredded cabbage. The pork is impressively tender for a cut this thick. At no point did I have difficulty biting through or separating the pork with just my teeth and chopsticks. The taste improves with a bit of katsu sauce, and for once, the non-spicy version is better in my opinion. The miso soup is much more than just the watery broth with two strips of seaweed you get at other places. Usually, you can just slurp miso soup, but this is packed with shredded pork meat and lots of other ingredients that will probably require chopsticks to pick at. The cabbage is completely raw and unseasoned, so definitely make use of the sauces on your table with this.
The Wafu Negioroshi Hire Katsu Set (RM32.90) differs in that it is a completely lean cut of pork, the white mountain of Negioroshi Sauce on top, and it comes with a bowl of ponzu (soy sauce with a light citrus tang) on the side. There are things I wish I had done differently with this set. I wish I had Googled what Negioroshi Sauce was, or, I wish I had just brushed the Negioroshi Sauce off the pork. On the menu, it looked like some sort of creamy mayonnaise-based sauce to my eyes. My expectations turned to mush in my mouth, literally, as the Negioroshi Sauce was nothing but cold, tasteless, grated white radish that had the ghastly mouthfeel of chewed wet paper. It was like someone served me this beautiful pork cutlet and dumped papier mache on top. The flavour is one thing, but no amount of ponzu or katsu sauce could mask the awfulness of the texture. Stubbornly, I kept eating the katsu with the atrocious Negioroshi Sauce, trying it with all the different sauces to see if I could find the ultimate combo that could make this edible. Mark and I did not want this taste to be the last thing on our tongues and we both saved a piece of Rosu katsu to finish with. However, I’ll still be tasting that pulpy radish in my nightmares for a long time to come.
If you love tonkatsu and are willing to spend a bit more, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison does have great pork and you can eat your money’s worth with all the free refills on the side dishes. The pork tonkatsu at other Japanese restaurants in the area, such as Daruma Syokudo, are not at the same level of quality. Personally, though, I’ve realised that I just don’t crave tonkatsu ever, so Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is too pricey for a dish I’m indifferent over.
Price for 2 Pax: RM 70.55
Rosu Katsu Set: RM27.90
Wafu Negioroshi Hire Katsu Set: RM32.90
10% Service: RM6.08
6% SST: RM3.65
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
Lot GF-03 (ground floor), 163 Retail Park, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
Alcohol Served: Yes