After eating some real bad katsu, I made it up to my tastebuds by eating at Yabu. I didn’t pass up the opportunity when my highschool bff Cindy asked if I wanted to eat there for brunchienda. That’s of course, breakfast/lunch/merienda because we’re odd (pauso haha) like that. YABUdabadoo! :p
The service was noticeably fast and friendly. Thanks to Jeff who was the waitstaff assigned to our table. He first gave us sesame seeds to crush as we waited for our chosen katsu dishes. I took a picture of it because it seems like everyone who eats here MUST have this ritual Instagrammed. Aminin mo! Noong nag-Yabu ka, may picture ka rin nung sesame seeds! :p
Their menu promises they prepare everything meticulously: from using Koshihikari, the finest japanese rice, to knowing the exact second of lifting the pork from the bubbling oil. Yabu obviously takes katsu seriously that they have managed to popularize this sesame-crushing ritual. Well, they wouldn’t be called the House of Katsu for nothing.
Next to arrive were the appetizers (195php for two bowls). We had the Superior Potato and Egg Salad and Lidako Salad. The former is chunks of potato and egg with Japanese mayo-mustard dressing. The latter is baby octopus in sweet-savory sauce with cucumber. I wish I also ordered some Layu sauce (chili garlic) to spice up the octopus some more.
Cindy had Salmon Katsu (475php) – chunks of salmon, coated in panko and deep-fried to medium well. I had the Rosu Katsu (315php) – 3/4 inch-thick (porkloin), with a trimming of fat. Both were served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage, and a bowl of fruit (pineapple and watermelon).
I didn’t take advantage of the unli-rice (trying to de-puff my chipmunk cheeks) but had lots of cabbage. Among their 3 dressings- Goma, Shoyu, and Wasabi, Goma is my fave. Their tonkatsu sauce was the perfect sweet-savory made more terrific with the crushed sesame seeds.
And what about the katsu itself? I LOVED IT. I absolutely loved it! I finished it down to the last morsel of panko-breadcrumb. My Rosu was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. It wasn’t greasy at all too like other cheap versions. And just like that, Yabu’s katsu is now my favorite katsu. <3
Cindy also liked her Salmon Katsu. She finished her set quicker than I did mine. Ang takaw, grabe. :p I’m probably trying the salmon next. Other katsu kinds they offer are chicken, black tiger prawn, oyster, menchi (minced meat of beef and pork), and they even have veggie katsu of silken tofu, onion rings, eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes and carrots.
We didn’t get to try their Mochi Ice Cream because we went for UCC’s Oreo Coffee Cake instead. Still, my Yabu experience was excellent from start to finish. I ticked WOWs and VERY GOODs in the comment card they gave us. I really wish they’ll have a branch in Harbor Point as well so I can have my Dad try this too. My father lived in Japan for several years and I think he’d like Yabu as much I did.
Yabu: House of Katsu
2/F SM Mall of Asia, Main Mall Atrium, South Arcade, Pacific Dr
Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay
Other branches: SM Megamall, Southmall, North Edsa, Aura, Robinsons Magnolia and ATC.
// listening to Sum 41 – Into Deep