When I was a kid, obsessed with Korean barbecue, my favorite starter at my KBBQ restaurant of choice was yakitori. Even then, I knew that sometimes it takes a Korean chef to make the most of a Japanese favorite. I got a similar reminder when I ate one of the best katsus of my life at the Incheon airport a few years ago, made from sought-after Jeju black pork. That’s why when I found out that there was a donkatsu restaurant in Annandale, I had high hopes.
Miso Donkatsu tells you what it does best right in its name, but it doesn’t tell you the scope at which it does it. The word donkatsu specifically means schnitzel-like fried pork. But at Miso, the fried fare goes beyond pigs to include chicken, shrimp, oyster, sausage, tofu, and flounder, as well. Even more tempting, there are some pretty complex feats in katsu construction, including cheese-filled rolls that also include kimchi and bacon or pineapple and ham.
There are seemingly endless combinations of katsus and noodle or rice bowls, but I went with the standard $14.95 donkatsu lunch. The pork itself is as crisp outside and tender within as one might wish and comes with a fruity sauce for dipping. A small bowl of udon soup, punctuated by scallions and bits of tempura, is appealingly salty, but doesn’t have much character beyond its fun textural interplay. Veggies include a cabbage salad topped with ginger dressing, as well as small portions of pickled radish, and kimchi. But my favorite side was the silky steamed egg, so smooth that my dining companion asked if it was intended as dessert.
But no, sweets come in the form of a petite bottle of Yakult at the end. For a lunch (or dinner) full of variety, there are few deals that have captured my fancy quite as much as Miso Donkatsu and its easy fusion.
7410 Little River Tpk., Annandale
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