[Osaka] Katsudon Yoshibei Namba 吉兵衛: Superb Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl below 1000yen

Stumbled upon Katsudon Yoshibei in Namba Doguyasuji Osaka かつ丼 吉兵衛, a Japanese katsudon restaurant while looking for quick lunch in Namba to feed our growling stomach before rushing back to airport from Osaka. Ended up it became one of the most affordable, yet one of the best meal we had for our Japan trip this round.

We have not heard of Katsudon Yoshibei before this. Blame our not-so-good-yet food research skills. Haha. Do some Google-ing and read reviews about this eatery after we returned to Malaysia, only to know that it is a famous shop in Japan, established since 1979!

Founded in Kobe, Katsudon Yoshibei has 9 stores in Japan currently, namely in Aeon Mall Sakai Gun-cho, Osaka Nanba Douguya-suji, Kobe Sannomiya Asahi-Dori, Kobe Motomachi, Kobe Onoedori, Higashi Umeda, Honten Kobe, Promena Kobe and 1 overseas outlet in Taiwan, Taipei Shinyi.

Is there queue:
Arms with decades of Katsudon making experience, Yoshibei certainly has the know-how in churning out almost-perfect deep fried pork cutlet. Some mentioned that there’s always queue at Katsudon Yoshibei during peak hours, especially the outlet at Kobe Sannomiya. Reaching early is recommended. Not too sure about this because there was only 3 customers when we walked into the Namba outlet at 3PM, off meal time.

How to order:
There is an auto food ordering machine near the shop entrance. Press for your choice of don, insert money, pick up the order ticket and pass to the staff. Just like how you do in Ichiran ramen. If you can’t read Japanese, just look at the food picture.

What food they have:
Being a restaurant specializes in Katsudon, Yoshibei menu has none other but rice with deep fried breaded pork cutlet as the highlight. Selections are pretty straightforward. Pick from Deep Fried Pork Cutlet with Egg, Deep Fried Pork Cutlet with Sauce and Onsen Egg, or Deep Fried Pork Cutlet with Korean Kimchi Sauce. Then choose your size –
1. small rice with one egg 630yen
2. small rice with two eggs 680yen
3. regular rice with one egg 730yen
4. regular rice with two eggs 780yen
5. large rice with two eggs 830yen
6. ultimate version with large rice, double egg, double pork cutlet 980yen

They also have curry katsudon in regular and large size, some set meals and a mini list of side dishes. We had the smallest size this time, but for next visit, we’ll probably go for double egg double pork cutlet. And it is less than 1000yen! Cheap!

Yoshibei is considerate enough to attach complete English menu for non-Japanese literate tourists like us. Hence ordering can be quick and shouldn’t be a problem.

We had a bowl of small Katsudon with Egg and Katsudon with Yoshibei Special Sauce each. Price at only 630yen, we expect to be given shabby and thin pieces of pork cutlet but to our surprise, portion is generous! Our small size Katsudon is heaped with a big piece of piping hot, freshly deep fried to golden brown pork cutlet. This can easily go beyond 1000yen to 1500yen if you had this in other restaurants, and yet it is not as good!

First bite and we were hooked! Pork fillet is meaty, with some fat that gives extra moist. Locked with meat juiciness, shielded with breaded outer layer that is just on-point on the thickness for pleasing crunchiness. Not oily at all!

We really enjoy our superb rice bowl in Katsudon Yoshibei. Unexpectedly satisfying.

If you happened to pass by this great Japanese Katsudon shop, we highly recommend you to give it a try. Cheap, delicious, fuss-free comfort food to fuel up before more walking for the rest of the day.

Katsudon Yoshibei Namba かつ丼 吉兵衛

Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street千日前道具屋筋
14-2 Nanba Senju, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Operating hours: 11:00AM – 22:00PM