Butagumi Tokyo – Excellent Tonkatsu

Butagumi Tokyo – Introduction

We never cease to be amazed about the power of a good restaurant to help enliven you and make you want to eat, no matter what the circumstances. We had been looking forward to our lunch at Butugami for some time, but a trip to one of our favourite bar/restaurants in Tokyo the night before may have put it in jeopardy!

We went to Bunon in Nishi-Azabu, a place that we have been to a number of times and always end up staying way too long, enjoying the amazing food and natural wine here. This time we really pushed the boat out, not helped by owners of some of the leading natural wine places in Tokyo dropping in early in the morning to have a drink after work and inviting us to join them.

By the time we had reluctantly left it was very late and lunch was looking tenuous. However we summoned up our strength and headed for Butugami and very soon after arriving we had forgotten how second-hand we felt!

Butagumi is an excellent place to try tonkatsu cuisine in Tokyo. Tonkatsu is breaded, deep-fried pork and leading restaurants such as Butagumi provide a choice of many different cuts of pork with varying amounts of fat for those who like the fat as much as the meat.

The pork here is chosen with care, the coating of the pork products is exceptionally crisp and perfectly cooked and the accompanying rice is the best Koshihikari available from the Niigata prefecture.

Each order of tonkatsu is not only accompanied by the rice, there is also a salad of delicious cabbage, a bowl of miso soup, some tonkatsu sauce, some karashi (Japanese mustard) and a plate of Japanese pickles as well.

As a side note, tonkatsu is very popular in Japan and is essentially a cut of pork with varying levels of fat covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried.

After we were seated we were given English menus which listed the cuts of pork available on the day with the least fatty pieces at the top of the page progressing to the fattiest (and hence tastiest) at the bottom. we were also given a “hint sheet” which provided some information about what to do and what to NOT do in order to maximise the enjoyment of the tonkatsu experience.

One good hint was not to pour sauce over the dish but rather dip the piece you are about to eat in the sauce. This way it ensures that the remaining piece does not lose the crunch that is so important to the enjoyment of this dish.

Butagumi – The Food

We ordered some eggplant to start with while they cooked our three chosen pork pieces (all of which come from hand-reared, heritage pig breeds) which were Himuro-Buta from the Gunma prefecture, Kashiwa-Gensou from the Chiba prefecture (you can see the sign in the picture below) and Tsunan from the Niigata prefecture.

Butagumi Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu at Butagumi

Each was cooked perfectly with a lovely golden crust obtained from slow cooking in good-quality sesame oil. The flesh was tender and juicy and the fat had melted to spread umami throughout the dish.

There is no doubt that this is a meal that every visitor to Tokyo should experience.

There is also a more casual outlet called Butagumi Dining in Roppongi near the Roppongi station.

Additional information

Street: 2-24-9 Nishi-Azabu

Town/Suburb: Minato-ku, 106-0031

Town/Suburb: Tokyo

Phone number: +81 3 5466 6775

Opening hours: Lunch and dinner Tue-Sun

They have a Web site, but it is in Japanese only. We have been able to translate it via the browser we use.


We have included Butagumi in our story about places we like to eat at in Tokyo here.