There’s a new Korean fried chicken and Japanese tonkatsu spot in town and it is really tasty! Nara Chicken & Tonkatsu is located at 8712 150 Street in west Edmonton and recently opened this summer (end of July).
Nara is a pretty unassuming, casual spot – located in a strip mall and set up (I think) to be more of a order at the front and take home kind of restaurant, though they do have some seating and will take your order from your table if you do decide to eat-in, which our group did when we tried it earlier this month.
Its straight-forward restaurant name is your main indication of what their food offerings / specialties are! ;)
Korean Fried Chicken (or KFC, not to be confused with North American KFC, lol) is a pretty popular dish (and in past years, has become more popular/more common in Edmonton). Korean Fried Chicken is fried twice – so you can usually expect a crispier skin with this type of KFC.
Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish where meats (typically pork or chicken) is breaded and deep fried.
Nara has quite a few different options for both chicken and tonkatsus. Nara’s fried chicken options include half and whole size seasoned chicken, spicy chicken, grilled chicken, and chicken fingers. Their tonkatsu offerings include pork sirloin, pork tenderloin, “pizza” tonkatsu with pork and cheese, minced pork tonkatsu and a sirloin + tenderloin combo.
In addition to these specialties, Nara also offers a ramen (Japanese) dish and various bulgogi and bibimbap (also Korean) dishes, plus gyoza dumplings, homemade pickled vegetables, and other small appetizers and desserts (including mochi ice cream and rice puffs).
There was four of us that night so we each selected a dish to share with the table, plus a gyoza appetizer!
At Nara Chicken & Tonkatsu, we ordered:
The Nara Tenderloin Tonkatsu ($14.99) – deep fried pork tenderloin with Nara special sauce, pickled cabbage, and your choice of rice or french fries (which on the menu, is lovingly referred to as ‘F.F’ lol).
The Nara ‘Pizza’ Tonkatsu ($15.99) – deep fried pork sirloin with Nara special sauce and cheese, pickled cabbage, and your choice of rice or french fries.
The Nara Spicy Chicken (full size – $26.99) with tasty hot sauce on the side.
The Nara Bulgogi Noodle plate ($13.99) – thinly sliced beef with Nara special sauce, vegetables, glass (japchae) noodles and kimchi.
12 pc. Gyoza ($9.99). (You can also get a 6 pc. plate for $5.49 but $9.99 is so reasonable for this delicious gyoza you might as well just spring for the 12 pc.
And the Nara Bibimbap Spicy ($12.99) – seasoned beef, pan-broiled vegetables, fried egg, sesame oil and spicy sauce.
We had such a great meal at Nara. It was really casual, really comfortable, and really tasty. The stand-out dishes, understandably since they’re in the name, was the chicken and tonkatsu, which both had great, crispy texture and flavours. The interesting ‘pizza’ tonkatsu with cheese though could have been oozier, was really good.
The bulgogi and bibimbap were good but not necessarily the best, and wouldn’t be dishes I would come to Nara for specifically. The gyoza though, was fantastic, however not made in house. I also wondered why Japanese curry (which typically comes with a tonkatsu protein) wasn’t an option on the menu – as it seems like an obvious choice for tonkatsu offerings. (I personally LOVE Japanese curry. Kazoku Ramen, also in West Edmonton, makes some really good curry dishes).
Also, the plates at Nara are so cute!
— Linda Hoang ? (@lindork) August 11, 2017
Our server was really friendly and very sweet and in addition to the great-tasting dishes, Nara Chicken & Tonkatsu is also pretty affordable. The bibimbap and bulgogis are in the $12.99-$13.99 range, the tonkatsu in the $12.99-$24.99 range (the $24.99 dish is the combination of sirloin and tenderloin), and the fried chicken half sizes are $13.99-$14.99 and whole sizes $24.99-$26.99.
Nara Chicken & Tonkatsu is a wonderful addition to the neighbourhood! I’m told that there have been a few different (unfortunately unsuccessful) businesses in that same space over the years, so fingers crossed Nara is the one that sticks.
Our whole group was really happy with the meal and the experience and will definitely be back! I can also see it being a place we stop by on our way home for quick take-out.
So have you been to Nara? What did you think?! Leave a comment below or let me know on social media.