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Takkatsu formerly of Glencoe now is...Arlington Heights

Takkatsu formerly of Glencoe now is...Arlington Heights
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  • Post #31 - August 16th, 2005, 4:52 pm
    Post #31 - August 16th, 2005, 4:52 pm Post #31 - August 16th, 2005, 4:52 pm
    I saw some people in there the other night. I thought the official opening was tomorrow the 18th. Anyway it's less than a quarter block from me so i'll be there soon. I peeked in the window on the way home from blockbuster the other day and it looked pretty cool! Glad it's open! BTW beware of the Jewel police... park on West Miner. :D
  • Post #32 - August 17th, 2005, 12:00 pm
    Post #32 - August 17th, 2005, 12:00 pm Post #32 - August 17th, 2005, 12:00 pm
    I just got back from having lunch at Takkatsu. I had the black pork (rosu) that was recommended in an earlier post. It was by far and away the best fried pork I can ever remember eating. The breading was crisp and light and the pork was tender with just the right amount of fat. It was served with some cabbage, rice, and soup. I noticed that the black pork came on a small rack to facilitate draining. It was a good choice as it kept the bottom of the pork as crisp as the top. My friend had the tenderloin which was not served on a rack. The black pork is a bit more expensive (13.95) than the tenderloin (9.95) but as I had never had black pork I decided it was worth it to give it a try...it was a good choice. I drank the free green tea and water with my lunch. My friend ordered an Iced Tea (I know it isn't traditional, blah, blah, blah), but I was disappointed to discover that they served it in a can. It is a small complaint and really wasn't a very big deal.

    The service was a bit off due to the newness of our waiter, but it was acceptable. My one complaint would be the seating. I am on the large side and I found the tables and chairs to be too small to be comfortable. All in all I don't think I could recommend this little gem enough.
  • Post #33 - August 26th, 2005, 8:13 am
    Post #33 - August 26th, 2005, 8:13 am Post #33 - August 26th, 2005, 8:13 am
    Hi,

    I met CrazyC at Takkatsu last night. It was great to see this restaurant return like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Of course, different location and quite a different wait staff. At the old location, all the wait staff were subdued Japanese, while all the staff at the new restaurant were perky Caucasians. Actually, I was wrong about the staff at the old location I learned last night. The wait staff were not Japanese, rather they were Mongolians. CrazyC pointed out it is difficult to differentiate Mongolians from Japanese.

    For appetizers, we ordered Niku Jaga, which is cut potato simmered with pork and onion, and Crab Croquettes. The Crab Croquettes were deep fried mounds of creamy crab with a crab claw positioned conveniently for holding. When they promise a creamy interior, they do as they promise which is surprising to me. When I see deep fried, then I typically expect a firmer interior. CrazyC affirmed this was the classic preparation and we both agreed was oh so divine.

    We both had the Kurobuta Rosu Special, which is the black pork tonkatsu burritolord reported above. Rosu indicates sirloin of pork, which translated into a thicker wedge of meat which was fattier, tender and full flavored. This was accompanied by tonjiru soup, rice and Japanese pickles. The pickles on this occasion were very simple sweet-sour cucumber slice and daikon radish. I seem to recall at the prior location receiving more interesting Japanese fermented pickles, though I admit it has been a long time.

    CrazyC will fill in the cracks, I hope, as well as offer her impressions. It was great to see an old friend back with a few minor adjustments over the years.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #34 - August 26th, 2005, 8:43 am
    Post #34 - August 26th, 2005, 8:43 am Post #34 - August 26th, 2005, 8:43 am
    Niku-jaga has always been one of my favorite dishes. Known as ofukuro no aji (Mom's cooking), it is traditionally not found in many sushi restuarants, but more in izakayas.

    Anyways, nikujaga can be made with either beef or pork. It is a basic simmered dish with meat and potato in a soy/sugar liquid. The nikujaga at Takkatsu was ok. The liquid was good, leaning to the sweeter end of the spectrum, but there was maybe 2 tiny pieces of meat, and 4 little pieces of potato. As a whole, it was not as good as the nikujaga I can get at the izakayas. But passable...

    Croquettes are an example of the Japanese adapting Western food to their tastes. There are 2 types of croquettes (korokke): potato based and cream based. The crab croquettes we had was cream based, and so had no potato in it, which gave it the creamy interior. It is a butter/milk/flour mixture that is frozen. When the order comes in, it is removed from the freezer and breaded and fried. The freezing makes it easier to handle and keeps the interior creamy. The potato based croquettes are firmer but also a little creamy, since the potatoes are mashed.

    The tonkatsu at Takkatsu was good, but when I reached the end, I was feeling a little sick due to all the grease/fat. The tonjiru soup was chock full of daikon, pork, carrots and konnyaku pieces. It was peppery and soothing at the same time (especially with the greasy goodness of the tonkatsu).

    The highlight of the meal for me was the tonkatsu sauce. Amazing stuff, so much better than the crap (can I say that?) in the squeeze bottles. If you have had the tonkatsu sauce from the bottle, you will taste the difference. Not as sweet and acidic. Just perfect.
  • Post #35 - August 26th, 2005, 9:27 am
    Post #35 - August 26th, 2005, 9:27 am Post #35 - August 26th, 2005, 9:27 am
    Interesting about the croquette situation. The two types, potato and bechamel, are identical to the two traditional Spanish kinds. While I'm no expert in Portuguese cooking, I'd assume that the recipes are similar.

    I might venture a guess that much of your meal had Iberian roots. I have to think that a breaded pork cutlet (milanesa de puerco) is not wholly Japanese.

    [I don't want to think too hard about this, but consider the Baja taco: a Mexican dish made from combining a Europeanized native American food (the flour tortilla) with the Japanese spin on a European dish (fish tempura).]

    Not that any of that makes the meal less Japanese. And no one fries stuff better than the Japanese do, regardless of where the dish started.
  • Post #36 - August 26th, 2005, 12:35 pm
    Post #36 - August 26th, 2005, 12:35 pm Post #36 - August 26th, 2005, 12:35 pm
    JeffB wrote:Interesting about the croquette situation. The two types, potato and bechamel, are identical to the two traditional Spanish kinds. While I'm no expert in Portuguese cooking, I'd assume that the recipes are similar.

    I might venture a guess that much of your meal had Iberian roots. I have to think that a breaded pork cutlet (milanesa de puerco) is not wholly Japanese.

    Jeff,
    You're on the money. katsu is derived from costoleta brought in by the missionaries.
    Joel
  • Post #37 - August 26th, 2005, 1:41 pm
    Post #37 - August 26th, 2005, 1:41 pm Post #37 - August 26th, 2005, 1:41 pm
    Any pictures? I'm curious to go but the drive it quite far for me.
  • Post #38 - August 26th, 2005, 2:51 pm
    Post #38 - August 26th, 2005, 2:51 pm Post #38 - August 26th, 2005, 2:51 pm
    Hi,

    No pictures from my side. I had my camera, then reminded myself out loud, "You don't have to photograph everything you eat!"

    The Tonkatsu sat on a small wire rack to allow the oils to drip down, which I thought was a nice touch.

    It took me an hour in rush traffic to reach ARlington Heights and a few minutes to find parking. Getting home was a breeze ...

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #39 - August 29th, 2005, 5:44 pm
    Post #39 - August 29th, 2005, 5:44 pm Post #39 - August 29th, 2005, 5:44 pm
    I did carry-out recently there and ordered the Rosu pork and a CA roll. Pork was good but not that good. CA roll was pre- packaged in a clear dome container. Tonjiru soup was Miso when i got home. Boring Daikon and rice accompanied this $24 meal. Honestly, and not trying to be mean, i'll give them a year.
  • Post #40 - August 30th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    Post #40 - August 30th, 2005, 12:06 pm Post #40 - August 30th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    Rich4 wrote:This time of year they make a great Japanese iced tea called mugi-cha or something like that. I wish I remembered, but usually I wasn't the one ordering.


    Yup, its mugi-cha -- roasted barley tea that everyone drinks at home instead of plain water. You can pick up a sachet at Mitsuwa along with a typical tea jug and have it waiting for you in your fridge all summer. You can tell a restaurant caters to Japanese clientele when they keep cold mugi-cha on hand.
  • Post #41 - September 2nd, 2005, 1:31 am
    Post #41 - September 2nd, 2005, 1:31 am Post #41 - September 2nd, 2005, 1:31 am
    The word about Takkatsu is definitely out in the Japanese community. We were there a week ago Saturday and the place was packed with Japanese families. We arrived at 9 p.m. and they were out of several things; everyone who waited on us said the place had been swamped all night. I expect that reservations are a good idea on the weekends, at least -- it's a small place -- though I forgot to ask whether they accept them.

    I found the food to be just as good as it was in Winnetka. They're still refining and working out the kinks. Chatting to the owner about tonkatsu in Japan, we mentioned the tabletop sesame grinders at Saboten and he looked thunderstruck: "I ordered those! We're supposed to have them out." He also said they plan to add bento combinations to the menu.
  • Post #42 - September 9th, 2005, 9:40 am
    Post #42 - September 9th, 2005, 9:40 am Post #42 - September 9th, 2005, 9:40 am
    How 'bout....

    The eel appetizer at Katsu on Peterson in Chicago. With some of their good-quality cold sake, it's a little bit o'heaven.

    The tempura at Renga-Tei on Crawford in Lincolnwood. That's been a constant since it the restaurant was called Koto, back in the early eighties.

    The salmon teriyaki at Hayashi on Grand Ave. in Gurnee. Perfect glaze, piping hot, just the right amount of fishiness. The little place is solid, a real find up north.

    The asparagus beef entree at Kamehachi on Shermer in Northbrook. Just killer stuff, with that excellent sauce. Some of the best sukiyaki around too.

    The variety & volume at Todai Japanese buffet in Woodfield. Overall, it's almost on a par quality-wise with a good normal restaurant, and if you do lunch @ $14.99, it can't be beat. Best to go with a large appetite to take full advantage.
  • Post #43 - September 12th, 2005, 5:34 pm
    Post #43 - September 12th, 2005, 5:34 pm Post #43 - September 12th, 2005, 5:34 pm
    AGuylian wrote:Any pictures? I'm curious to go but the drive it quite far for me.


    far? ehh.. i trekked from the city. so... i dunno.. it was pretty far:

    the rosu katsu
    Image

    nikujaga:
    Image

    the rosu pork tonkatsu was far too greasy, i prefer mine @ renga tei... the nikujaga was like.. "eh. ok, what's next?". in concurrence with CrazyC, tonjiru soup was indeed ab-fab and my fave part of the meal. the hostess offered me some to go, but against my good judgement, i said no. black sesame paste mochi in cute lil vessels capped our meal.

    to/fro Takkatsu, I passed mitsuwa; on the way home, i kinda wished i just went for the ramen instead because an excellent tonkatsu sauce does not a restaurant make...
  • Post #44 - September 12th, 2005, 8:46 pm
    Post #44 - September 12th, 2005, 8:46 pm Post #44 - September 12th, 2005, 8:46 pm
    to/fro Takkatsu, I passed mitsuwa; on the way home, i kinda wished i just went for the ramen instead because an excellent tonkatsu sauce does not a restaurant make...


    Funny... I went to Mitsuwa on Saturday for ramen and then to Takkatsu that night for dinner... I think we need a LTH signal like the Bat signal, or a LTH Zorro-like sign so that we can see if we just missed someone... =)

    I agree the rosu katsu is greasy, once again, I was unable to finish my portion. The tonjiru soup was less peppery this weekend. This time, I asked for a side of the curry gravy, and it helped mask the greasiness a bit...
  • Post #45 - December 18th, 2005, 9:14 am
    Post #45 - December 18th, 2005, 9:14 am Post #45 - December 18th, 2005, 9:14 am
    LTH,

    MsWiv and I had a very nice dinner at Takkatsu with LAZ and RehS Friday. Service/customer interaction from walking in the door to the moment we left was friendly, informed and attentive, gracious comes to mind. Physically modest, but with a simple clean lined tasteful austerity that immediately puts one at ease. Attention to detail was excellent, from house made mustard and tonkatsu sauce to menu descriptions that were brief and informative.

    Takkatsu's tonkatsu was terrific, I particularly enjoyed their signature tonkatsu Kurobuta Rosu Special (tonkatsu/Black Berkshire pork, sirloin cut). A couple in the thread have mentioned greasy, I did not find the Rosu/Berkshire pork greasy in the least. Crisp, greaseless outside, rich, but not over the top, perfectly done interior.

    Kurobuta Rosu Special
    Image

    RehS had an interesting variation, Kasane Katsu (Layered Rosu pork), tasty, though I preferred the Kurobuta Rosu Special.

    Kasane Katsu
    Image
    Image

    LAZ had Katsu Jyu (Pork sirloin on a bed of rice topped with egg and onion mixture) and MsWiv Takkatsu Special (pork, shrimp, chicken). Both quite good, but unless I became a regular at Takkatsu, unlikely as it's quite a drive, I'm sticking to the Kurobuta Rosu Special.

    Katsu Jyu
    Image

    Takkatsu Special
    Image

    Niku Jaga (Cut potato simmered with pork and onion) was good, but nothing I'm ever going to crave.

    Niku Jaga
    Image

    Both Miso soup and Tonjiru Soup (Japanese style pork soup), included with dinners, had real depth of flavor.

    Soups
    Image

    Goma-Ae, Agedsahi Dofu are fine, the Avocado Maguro was, to my taste, drowned in mayo basted dressing and, while I was alone in my opinion, the Crab Croquettes (Creamy crab served on crab claws) did not appeal in the least.

    Crab Croquettes
    Image

    Takkatsu is a pleasant restaurant with a unique, and delicious, to Chicago dish in the form of Kurobuta Rosu Special. Thanks LAZ for suggesting Takkatsu, I'm looking forward to going back.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Takkatsu
    181 West Wing Street
    Arlington Heights, IL 60005
    847-818-1860
    http://www.takkatsu.com (under construction)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #46 - December 19th, 2005, 5:42 am
    Post #46 - December 19th, 2005, 5:42 am Post #46 - December 19th, 2005, 5:42 am
    G Wiv wrote:RehS had an interesting variation, Kasane Katsu (Layered Rosu pork), tasty, though I preferred the Kurobuta Rosu Special.

    RheS's dish may appeal to those who find the kurobuta too rich. I also find the regular pork tonkatsu quite good. The only one I wouldn't recommend is the one that's described as "for a light taste," which was dry when I sampled it.

    G Wiv wrote:Avocado Maguro was, to my taste, drowned in mayo basted dressing and, while I was alone in my opinion, the Crab Croquettes (Creamy crab served on crab claws) did not appeal in the least.

    The wasabi mayo dressing, studded with tobiko, did seem to be applied more heavily on this occasion than when I've had it in the past. I do like its sharp flavor, though. It might be possible to order the dressing on the side.

    About the croquettes, I'm in agreement with Cathy2, above -- the combination of crunchy outside and creamy, crab-laden filling is divine.

    Thanks for making the trip and everything, Gary. Very pleasant company as well as a good meal.

    One caution: For those who don't like fried food, Takkatsu doesn't offer much in the way of other options, while for those who don't eat pork, there are a few other things, including a salmon fry, but it's likely fried in the same oil as the pork. This is not a place to take vegetarians.
  • Post #47 - July 29th, 2006, 10:28 pm
    Post #47 - July 29th, 2006, 10:28 pm Post #47 - July 29th, 2006, 10:28 pm
    I must say, when I see tonkatsu on the menu at a sushi bar, I usually go with the sushi. Tonight, The Wife and I stopped by Takkatsu for tonkatsu and liked it quite well.

    The berkshire pigs, we were told, have a 200 year bloodline (which may or may not be important), but what I found interesting was that until recently, most of the berkshire pig meat was shipped to Japan (this according to genial owner Walter Hladko) where the fattier and thus more delicious meat is preferred.

    This was some good eating, and not at all like the thinner version of pork cutlets one sometimes sees at Japanese joints and elsewhere. I thought the simple cabbage salad, spritzed with lemon, was a good accompaniment, and I also ordered a side of "homemade" pickles, crisp and briney with no trace of vinegar, a good contrast to the lush piggy.

    Behold, the mighty Berkshire/Kurobuta

    Image
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #48 - July 29th, 2006, 11:55 pm
    Post #48 - July 29th, 2006, 11:55 pm Post #48 - July 29th, 2006, 11:55 pm
    Hi,

    I wonder if the Berkshire is the source of the 'black pig' cuts seen at Chicago Food and other Asian oriented shops.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #49 - February 27th, 2007, 2:15 am
    Post #49 - February 27th, 2007, 2:15 am Post #49 - February 27th, 2007, 2:15 am
    How's the tonkatsu and service holding up at Takkatsu? I'm in Tokyo now and would be interested to know.
  • Post #50 - April 7th, 2008, 8:28 am
    Post #50 - April 7th, 2008, 8:28 am Post #50 - April 7th, 2008, 8:28 am
    As grant reports in the Paprikash thread here, Takkatsu is no more.

    -ramon
  • Post #51 - April 7th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #51 - April 7th, 2008, 9:48 am Post #51 - April 7th, 2008, 9:48 am
    I walked past the place on Saturday and it was "closed for renovations, will reopen in April" but I did not see much renovating going on.
  • Post #52 - April 7th, 2008, 4:40 pm
    Post #52 - April 7th, 2008, 4:40 pm Post #52 - April 7th, 2008, 4:40 pm
    I read that they've sold the place and will re-open as Swordfish sometime soon. Leaning towards more sushi on the menu. I think there is already a Swordfish in the Chicago area?
  • Post #53 - April 7th, 2008, 8:26 pm
    Post #53 - April 7th, 2008, 8:26 pm Post #53 - April 7th, 2008, 8:26 pm
    Ramon wrote:As grant reports in the Paprikash thread here, Takkatsu is no more.

    -ramon

    jlawrence01 wrote:I walked past the place on Saturday and it was "closed for renovations, will reopen in April" but I did not see much renovating going on.

    grant wrote:I read that they've sold the place and will re-open as Swordfish sometime soon. Leaning towards more sushi on the menu. I think there is already a Swordfish in the Chicago area?

    FWIW, their phone number has been disconnected.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #54 - April 7th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    Post #54 - April 7th, 2008, 9:43 pm Post #54 - April 7th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    This report confirms grant's tip, though it seems odd, since Swordfish, in Batavia, is affiliated with Wildfish, which already has a downtown Arlington Heights location.

    Swordfish
    207 N. Randall Road, Batavia
    (630) 406-6463
    www.swordfishsushi.com

    Wildfish
    60 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights
    (847) 870-8260.
    http://wildfishsushi.com
  • Post #55 - April 20th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Post #55 - April 20th, 2008, 3:11 pm Post #55 - April 20th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Well they've put up a new sign. The name is Himawari, opening early May.

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