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Saboten Tonkatsu @ Aberdeen Centre now open

Kentan Jan 23, 2012 12:17 PM

More tonkatsu awesomeness has arrived from straight from Japan! The first Canadian branch of Saboten, the Japanese tonkatsu chain, has opened in the Aberdeen food court.

Anyone tried it yet? I hope the quality here will measure up to the standards in Japan.

Canadian site here:

For comparison - menu items available in Japan (with calorie count!) here:

  1. c
    clutterer Feb 21, 2012 05:00 PM

    There is a new(ish) donburi place on Seymour and Hastings called Kita No Donburi, which may be of interest.

    1. Kentan Jan 24, 2012 11:27 PM

      A little more intel on Saboten:
      - This is their first North American shop, but they have locations in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong
      - Using Canadian pork, rice from California, but other ingredients will be from Japan
      - Green House Foods of Japan, which owns the chain, partnered with the Fairchild Group to bring it here
      - They're looking to open up to 10 locations in Metro Vancouver

      4 Replies
      1. re: Kentan
        flowbee Jan 25, 2012 06:20 PM

        Their website says they use pork that's been aged 10 days. Technically, isn't all pork that's sold on the retail level at least a few days old? Maybe even a week since the original pig was slaughtered? (I may not know what I'm talking about, but that factoid intruiged me.)

        1. re: flowbee
          LotusRapper Jan 25, 2012 06:48 PM

          Aged or not, they already got me at the top of the web page :-D


          1. re: LotusRapper
            flowbee Jan 25, 2012 07:35 PM

            yeah, that fatty edge is awesome. i can taste it now...

          2. re: flowbee
            fmed Jan 26, 2012 12:46 AM

            Interesting that they age the meat. It will taste more "porky" and concentrated. Most tonkatsu here is so devoid of flavour that it tastes more like chicken breast

        2. flowbee Jan 24, 2012 08:58 PM

          I'm thinking around 10 years ago, that Clubhouse was really good. The original Japanese owner was a golf nut and it sorta showed in how he decorated the place. Then he sold it about 5 years ago and I found the food afterwards to be really blah.

          I really liked their okonomiyaki and deep fried sushi (back when not many places did deep fried sushi) up until he sold the place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: flowbee
            LotusRapper Jan 24, 2012 09:04 PM

            Interesting you tell the history, then. Thx for the insight. First time I went there must have been around mid-2004, so that was prolly the original owner. Since the first time I've gone maybe 7 times in all, so I was definitely no regular.

          2. LotusRapper Jan 23, 2012 12:40 PM

            Thx for the heads-up ! I love tonkatsu, but no expert, I just go by texture and greasiness (batter), moistness (cutlet) and taste. My current faves include i-Cafe and The Clubhouse in Vancouver, however I've not tried 29th Avenue Cafe (former Yoshoku-Ya on Denman).

            Will try Saboten soon :-)

            5 Replies
            1. re: LotusRapper
              flowbee Jan 23, 2012 06:15 PM

              You mean Clubhouse didn't go down the shithole after the original owner sold the place? Hmmm...I used to love their cheap 'n cheerful atmosphere and good food.

              1. re: flowbee
                LotusRapper Jan 23, 2012 08:22 PM

                Last I was there was around Aug 2011. Didn't notice any difference from my visit before that time. Guess I'm not as regular as some of you are.

                1. re: LotusRapper
                  grayelf Jan 23, 2012 08:41 PM

                  Good to know about Saboten (though I can't seem to resist a Chinese variation when in Richmond...) and that Clubhouse is still holding up. I'm well past due for one of their mammoth moddan-yaki.

                  1. re: grayelf
                    LotusRapper Jan 23, 2012 08:51 PM

                    Not to mention their very decent okonomiyaki ......

                    1. re: LotusRapper
                      grayelf Jan 23, 2012 11:35 PM

                      Yeah, same thing. Moddan or modern is the noodles-added version and rather hard to come by in these parts.

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