The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Kåre Week, Day 8: Pork Katsu and Pumpkin Ice Cream

Note: This entry originally took place on October 23. Sweet jesus, I'm slow.

A life without tonkatsu (or pork katsu) is not worth living.

..Okay, that's a little extreme. I guess it's still worth living; it just won't be as awesome as one with katsu.

Out of all the different kinds of pounded, breaded, and deep fried pork that I've eaten in my life, the Japanese version is my favorite—it's the juiciest, most tender, and has the lightest, panko-based crust. When Kåre said that he had never eaten katsu before, my mission became clear: FEED KÅRE KATSU!

ladies set, LADIES ONLY
Ladies only

I took him to the katsu-centric Katsu-Hama in Midtown where we met up with Diana, Olivia, Amy, and Marcine. I liked that their menu featured sets for men, women, and children. Women can get the men's or ladies' set, but men can only get the men's (as it seems to say on the menu; Louanne says you men can order whatever your hearts desire!). I suppose it wouldn't be good for a menu to contribute to women's oppression.

grind your own sesame seeds

Each of us who ordered katsu was given a small mortar and pestle with toasted sesame seeds to act as the katsu sauce receptacle and add toasty sesame flavor. Every table had its own tub of katsu sauce with a teeny ladle so you could drown your fried meat in as much sauce as possible. I don't know how to describe katsu sauce besides that it tastes like katsu sauce, but it's apparently based on ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and a bunch of other flavorings, so if you can imagine that...there you go. In other words, just go out and eat it. I am no help.

kurobuta katsu

I was excited for my kurobuta katsu (Berkshire pork loin) in all its golden and fat-oozing glory, besides that it was possibly the priciest katsu I had ever eaten for $18 a pop.

katsu close up
Close up

But it failed. Or for $18, it failed. Sometimes fat is the most beautiful thing, when its like melty and buttery smooth; other times it's gristle-like and makes me feel nauseous. A few bits of fat in the katsu leaned towards the nauseating, "can't really chew this" end—I left them behind. And while I liked how crispy the crust was, I found it a bit too greasy and I didn't like how easily it fell off the meat. How could I be so critical of one of my most favorite foods? :( I tend to like all katsu; if something fudges with my katsu love, you know something's wrong.

Kåre's cheese-filled katsu

I would've been better off getting Kåre's cheese-filled katsu with its center of exploding, molten, yellow cheese substance. Never before had thought of combining cheese and katsu, as cheese doesn't generally appear in my favorite Japanese foods. But why not? I grew up eating cheese-laden veal and chicken parmigiana. That' of similar, in the fried cutlet family. I didn't try the cheesy katsu, but Kåre approved.

Although I wasn't very happy with my kurobuta katsu, I wouldn't totally write off Katsu-Hama. Their lunch specials are supposed to be good for the price. I'm perfectly happy getting katsu from Go Go Curry for less than $10 though.

taro and pumpkin
And then there was dairy.

We fled Midtown for dessert, down to the safe confines of Sundaes and Cones, my favorite conveniently located ice cream shop. Due to Marcine's suggestion, I had to get the seasonal pumpkin flavor. Kåre and I shared a two scoop cup, the other flavor being taro. Pumpkin was satisfyingly creamy and pumpkin spice-y; taro had that unique sweet and starchy flavor as always.

Normal photo!!
Can you spot the Scandinavian? Can you?

Here's a normal photo I took of Diana, Marcine, Kåre, and Amy.

I try to hug..

And one Diana took of me trying to hug everyone. They promptly recoiled.

I don't blame em.

a man and his manatee
A man and his manatee.

To finish off the week of Kåre (which ended over three weeks ago, but hey, who's counting), here's the last photo I took of him playing with (medium-sized) Manatee. Aw.

AND THAT ENDS KÅRE WEEK 2008!!! He is dearly missed. Kåre is doing fine back in Bergen, far, far away from New York City. :( My life went back to being boring and his went back to being Norwegian—and by that, I mean Utopian. Hopefully the next time I see him it'll be on Norwegian soil.


Kåre Week, Day 7: Banchan and Korean Tofu Stew at BCD
Kåre Week, Day 5 and 6: Home Cooking, Over-Porked at Minca, and Soft Serve Sundaes
Kåre Week, Day 4: Dim Sum, Random Art, and Arepas
Kåre Week, Day 3: Dumont Burger, Midtown Horrors, and BBQ (Fried) Chicken
Kåre Week, Day 2 (Part 2): Lower Manhattan Tour, Bubble Tea, and Sonia Rose
Kåre Week, Day 2 (Part 1): Freakin' Sweet Lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar, and Riding the Staten Island Ferry
Kåre Week, Day 1: Falafels at Taim


11 E 47th St
New York, NY 10017

Sundaes and Cones
95 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003


louanne / November 17, 2008 2:13 AM

lol, guys can order the ladies' set if they ask. the waiter kinda gave us a shrug when i asked and ordered for my guy friend. :P it had everything he wanted to eat!

roboppy / November 17, 2008 2:34 AM

Louanne: Hehe, thanks for the info! I shall update my post accordingly. I find it funny that the menu says "only women." Shouldn't really matter, eh? I went to another Japanese restaurant that had a special ladies' set and only the women in my group got it, but I don't think the guy wanted it anyway. (Or maybe he would've felt funny ordering it!)

Jane H. / November 17, 2008 4:47 AM

LOL a restaurant in Montmartre did something
similar with salads. 'La salade pour les garcons' had meat in it and 'La salade pour les filles' didn't! The slightly dainty ingredients of the 'girl' salad would make it a little embarrassing for guys to order it for themselves... ;)

G / November 17, 2008 12:23 PM

Mmmm Taro ice cream. Yum! Sorta praliné like if you ask me (you weren't).

By the look of those last few pics Kare is one lucky guy. Or maybe his ears were bleeding after being with 3 women, who knows.


Ulla / November 17, 2008 5:36 PM

I hope kare realize that he might have the best tour guide out there! i am so impressed with all the places you went too!:)

Kathryn / November 17, 2008 6:19 PM

Would it be terribly inappropriate of me to point out that Kåre is kind of gorgeous? Although perhaps that's just my fondness for tall guys in glasses coming out. I'll bet he has a great accents as well. [/embarrassing confessional]


roboppy / November 17, 2008 7:05 PM

Jane: A REAL man would order whatever he wants, even if it's A DAINTY SALAD...


G: HAHA, there was no visible bleeding. Maybe it was internal... oh noes.

Ulla: Aw, thanks! I like playing tour guide as long as my guest doesn't mind me DRAGGING THEM ANYWHERE I WANT. I take suggestions, of course, if you wanna go anywheeeere.

Kathryn: That's totally appropriate. ;D Kåre probably doesn't hear that enough, even though everyone says it behind his back. And yes, he has a great British-Weegie accent going on. Hehehehehe.

Kate / November 18, 2008 10:00 AM

Ooo that looks very cheese-licious. Hmm, kinda makes you think about making chicken or veal parmesan with the cheese stuffed inside...rather than on the top...actually...put some cheese on the top too. Hmm...hahaha.

Aww Kare is quite handsome:) You can probably tell him he has a fan base:D

Julie / November 18, 2008 10:31 AM

Also, yikes--$18 katsu is bananas! For that much, I could make you, like, 5 pounds of katsu. (Operators are standing by ;) )

On an unrelated note, I tried to abort my first comment a couple of beats after sending it so that I could amend it, but when I refreshed this page, it had already posted. I wonder if that's helpful in your ongoing quest to figure out the slow comment-handling. Dunno. =\

roboppy / November 18, 2008 9:51 PM

Kate: We could form a Kåre fan club!

I tend to like cheese on top of things, not inside. Kind of. No wait, I like grilled cheese

Julie: There's a first time for everything. This is..a special moment.

I think the solution to my ongoing quest to figure out the slow comment thing is to switch hosts. Eegad..I'm lazy..I hate switching hosts, but maybe I'll do it in the next year.

sydney / December 3, 2008 11:44 AM

Y to the Kare fan club, he is so cute.

I've brought friends around before for food tours but never on such a grand gorgeous exploding scale.

I admire you, woman.

SuperChomp / December 7, 2008 10:58 AM

I'd totally kill to have a katsu restaurant nearby (well, perhaps not kill. Unless it was a pig perhaps. Hmm.) $18 does seem pricey though, especially for a disappointment :(
The taro ice cream looks awesome. It's like, the king of root vegetables! or something like that. I'd like to try to the pumpkin too, quite rare to find such a flavour here in Britlands.

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