How far are you willing to walk for your favorite dish? As a young Marine I was willing to walk a mile and a half across the base in Japan for one of my favorite Japanese meals, Tonkatsu Curry. I have only been to two Japanese restaurants in the states that serve Tonkatsu Curry. One being Maru Sushi in San Francisco and the other, Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant, in Norfolk Virginia. Every time I eat at Kotobuki, I am transported back to Japan. Kotobuki is a Japanese family restaurant, that has been in business for 24 years. One of the draws of Kotobuki is that you feel like you are visiting family. How many restaurants do you know where you walk in the door and the owner gives you a hug and asks how you have been.
Fortunately, everyone that walks through the door of Kotobuki benefits from the flavors of Japan that the owner Machismo brought from her homeland, Okinawa, Japan. At Kotobuki, you can expect the freshest ingredients prepared in such a way that you feel like you are dining in Japan.
Tonkatsu Curry is a perfect wintertime dish. After finishing this dish, you will have a feeling of being full and warm. Tonkatsu Curry is a deep-fried panko crusted pork patty, that is sliced and laid to rest over rice and then smothered by a rich spicy curry sauce. The curry sauce is bursting with flavor. In some ways Tonkatsu Curry is reminiscent of a hearty stew with its potatoes, carrots, and onions. Not taking anything away from Indian Curries, Japanese Curry is by far my favorite. If Curry is not your thing, Kotobuki has a Sushi bar and a menu of dishes straight from Japan. If you have a favorite Japanese meal, I’m certain they serve it. Of course the Sushi lovers will not be disappointed.
Kotobuki has been recognized for its selection of dishes that can be made vegan. They actually have a full Vegan menu. This is one restaurant where everyone in your party can enjoy a freshly prepared Japanese meal.
My only disappointment was I didn’t save room for dessert. How can you refuse Tempura Cheesecake or Tempura Ice Cream. If you are looking for something truly special and uniquely Japanese, try their Daifuku Mochi, Dorayaki, or Yukan.
If I didn’t know better, I would say Machismo carried Kotobuki from Japan in her luggage. I would definitely say one of the best Japanese restaurants on the East Coast. Have you been to Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant in Norfolk VA? If you have or have another favorite Japanese restaurant, leave your comments below.