Feb 17, 2011
Welcome to TRIAL: (The Rice is a Lie), a food review section where we delve into dissecting the fuel that powers the otaku to go around anime conventions: FOOD. Once again I, High Inquisitor of Otaku Food Prawnt shall guide you to the path of taste as I review something from Karate Kid. I didn’t spare anything this time as I have written down all of my observations and impressions in my new and improved handy-dandy notebook! Anyway, on to the review!
Karate Kid, another Japanese fastfood chain here in the Philippines is probably only second to Tokyo Tokyo in its try-hard weeaboo ad campaign. We could very well say Karate Kid is Tokyo Tokyo’s cousin. Although they have quite an impressive menu, it gives me the impression that they are trying to please every market they can find because of their wide variety of food items. I saw rice bowls, takoyaki, maki, pasta, burgers, and even ramen in their menu. This really gave me the impression of a typical businessman attitude of trying to please everyone.
I chose something simple to review this time. A good fastfood restaurant’s food quality can be determined by how well they can prepare a simple, no-brainer dish which can be prepared in a matter of minutes. I decided to review Tonkatsu for this episode of TRIAL. Pork cutlet, sauce, vegetable sides along with refillable rice; this can fit a rice lover’s budget for only 99PHP. I’ve had little problems with Karate Kid’s service, but there are some times that they cannot manage a full house because of their wide variety of items that the staff tends to become scatterbrained. (I once said dine-in and my order was given in a take-out styro.) But for this visit however, I fortunately did not encounter any problems and I was served well.
My dish finally arrived within a few minutes and I took a picture of it first:
Now this is what I was expecting of a regular Tonkatsu meal. Tonkatsu, veggie sides on a plate, and a separate small rice bowl. This was just perfect… presentation-wise. I took my chopsticks and proceeded to dissect this dish.
I started consuming the stir-fried vegetable sides. It was served COLD when I know that these things are usually served hot or warm. Although it had a good flavor, it didn’t pass my standards just because it was cold. After finishing the veggies I tasted the Tonkatsu and dipped one cutlet into the sauce. I was somehow expecting the sauce to be somewhat like that “Bulldog” sauce most Japanese restaurants use, but this version of theirs is just TOO SWEET. Too sweet to the point that I couldn’t dip another pork cutlet into the sauce and left it alone for the remainder of my meal.
The pork cutlet itself tasted average like any other restaurant’s. Not too good or bad, just alright. They could’ve seasoned the pork a bit though. The breading easily falls off, but I am guessing this is normal for most breaded dishes right? There were also some sesame seeds on the pork cutlet which was completely unnecessary. Was it merely a garnish or some line cook accidentally put it there? Anyway, this isn’t exactly something I would recommend or refuse. I’d rate this somewhat average but I guess for a rice lover, the “refillable rice” would be a great bonus for them.
TRIAL VERDICT: 3 out of 5 – AVERAGE
Overall, this dish has an average rating. It’s best to eat this dish at the restaurant itself and not at those kiosks/dining areas during cons to ensure you are satisfied with their refillable rice. (And to simply take a break from the con itself!) Average, average, average, any other synonyms for that word? There are better places out there but if there’s too many people in line at the good places, try eating here as an alternative.
Karate Kid, you have survived this round of TRIAL. But hear this; the great Inquisitor Prawnt shall return once again to pass judgment on another one of your dishes! A piece of advice though, stop being like Tokyo Tokyo unless you want to end up a weeaboo like them. You still have some rather questionable dishes on your menu such as that Tako Burger and Ebi (Shrimp) Pasta, but I shall save that for next time.
This is Prawnt telling you that an otaku marches on his/her stomach to become Ota-kultured.