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Katsudon Chain "Katsuya" Celebrates 1 Year in HK, Wins Over Locals with Low Prices

Katsuya is the largest chain of katsudon (pork cutlets on rice served in a bowl) in Japan, with 230 or so locations there. In the past year the company has opened three branches in Hong Kong, and on November 29th it began offering a special donburi meal to celebrate the first anniversary of the chain's operations in the territory: Deep Fried Prawns, Pork Fillet & Minced Pork Bowl.

Arcland Service Co., Ltd., based in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, operates the Katsuya chain. It set up a regional overseas headquarters, Arcland Service (H.K.) Co., Ltd., to grow franchises in Asian markets. In the Hong Kong market, however, Arcland Service established Hikari Arcland Food Service Limited, a joint venture with a local company, to operate the chain in the territory that goes by the name of Ca-Tu-Ya.

The Hong Kong branches are Kowloon Bay inside Kowloon Bay Amoy Plaza, the Mong Kok branch in downtown, and the Tseung Kwan O branch near Po Lam Station--all on the Kowloon Peninsula. Ca-Tu-Ya serves a wide range of diners of all ages in the Hong Kong market, including families, groups of students and couples. Hong Kongers reportedly regard it as a sort of family restaurant.

The mainstay of the menu is the Katsudon, with options including "Plum" for 80 grams of meat at HK$45 and "Bamboo" for 120 grams of meat at HK$59. There is a roast cutlet set with 120 grams of meat for HK$65 and a dish of pork cutlets on rice topped with curry for HK$55 (Plum, 80 grams) or HK$69 (Bamboo, 120 grams). The prices are a bit higher than in Japan, but it is still quite cheaper than going to a regular Japanese restaurant in the territory.

The drinks at Ca-Tu-Ya are only available at the Hong Kong chain. Due to health-conscious Hong Kongers' dislike for fried foods, the company went to great lengths to change the Japanese chain's drink menu when it first opened here. Options include local Hong Kong tea when ordering a drink with a meal, which costs HK$6.

The company says it is now preparing to open its first branches on Hong Kong Island on Fortress Hill and elsewhere.

The first anniversary menu will be offered until December 22. The Kowloon Bay branch is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekends.

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