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Ginza Bairin’s secret menu

Is there life beyond pork cutlets at a katsu place? We went to Bairin to find out

Posted February 26, 2013 by Melissa Chang

I’d been dying to go on another eating adventure with my friends who like to seek out off-menu items in restaurants. The secret menu, or “ura menu,” tends to be a selection of several items that are known only to insiders or employees. I don’t know if ura menu items really do taste better, or if relishing the fact that you ate something that no one else knew to order makes it seem that much more delicious — but they’re always fun to try. You may have already seen the ura menu at Kaiwa. This time, we went to Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, which has been pumping in Waikiki for more than five years now, despite its $20-plus pork cutlets.

Ginza Bairin's secret menu (3 of 14)

Ginza Bairin's secret menu

When I first saw the organic chicken katsu ($17), I thought, "So what? Chicken is chicken." But this ended up being one of our favorite items. Bairin's signature light and crispy deep fried crust is a great contrast to the tender and moist chicken. I almost couldn't stop eating it — except for the fact that I had to share it with others on the table.



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  1. Annoddah_Dave
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Delicate Blossom:  Yikes!  This is not an everyday type of place.  The prices would bust any budget…fuud luuks guud, though.  This is one place I have not tried yet.  I know EO likes this place as well.

  2. Melissa808
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

    @Annoddah_Dave yes, not for everyday eating! But if you’re in the mood for it….you know what to order! Kinda hard to go back to regular katsu after this kine, though. I think I almost cracked a filling on one of the plate lunch places’ katsu. :(

  3. konaish
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You always learn something new nonstophonolulu ! Ginza Bairin was my go-to katsu place, but now I know I can order other delicious things, too!

  4. Melissa808
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

    @konaish  nonstophonolulu Thanks! yes, and a little healthier…..

About Melissa Chang

Melissa has been blogging regularly since 2007 and has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and public relations. She is currently an independent marketing consultant, specializing in social media. 

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