Friday, February 17, 2012

Saboten Tonkatsu さぼてん

Location:  There’s one in the basement of S-Pal in Sendai Station but I usually go to the one on the third floor of The Mall above Nagamachi-minami Subway Station.  This is a chain restaurant and they are located throughout the country.
Map:  Click the "Location" link at the bottom.
The Mall hours:  11 am – 9:30 pm.
S-Pal hours: 10 am – 10 pm.
A familiar front-runner that I've formerly failed to feature.  Some days are better than others, but you really can’t go wrong here.   Sure they’re known for their tonkatsu, but their ebi-fry and kaki-fry also seem to please.  


And with unlimited free refills of rice, cabbage, and miso soup, this place is ideal for the big eater!
But, I’m not a big eater, just a picky one.  Yet Saboten never fails to satisfy this picky eater.
And Saboten’s take-out bentos are also great!  I often get these from The Mall in Nagamachi-minami.  The only thing I don’t like about the bentos is the nori furikake, but Saboten is quite happy to accommodate my special “nuki” request.
For take out, I usually order the 三元豚ロースかつ定食,but at the restaurant I usually just go for the regular ロースかつ定食. With the set meal, everything is good:  the tonkatsu, tsukemono, rice, salad dressing, and miso soup.  I especially like the fresh sesame seeds in a bowl that you crush to your own textural desires, which you then pour the tonkatsu sauce into.  Recently, I’ve noticed at The Mall that they have become quite frugal in the amount of sesame seeds that they serve; you can almost count them.  Still, the aroma of freshly ground sesame seeds adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the meal.


Occasionally, they will offer a layered tonkatsu called something like 重ねるとんかつ that comes with a ponzu sauce and is really delicious!  Unfortunately this is only seasonal and I’m not sure what season it appears.

How many sesame seeds are there?  One, two, ....

I’m also pleased with Saboten’s generous stamp card system.   It seems that I accumulate enough stamps to get a 500 discount quite easily.  Instead of the discount, you can opt for a take-out tonkatsu, but who wants to take home a hunk of tonkatsu right after they’ve just finished eating tonkatsu?

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