I have been a food lover even before I got hooked with fashion and blogging. As food lovers, we all have our list of must-try restaurants. Anyone who has a Twitter account knows that Yabu: House of Katsu is a pretty hot restaurant right now. I’ve seen enough pictures in my Instagram, Twitter and FB to make me drool. So today I got the privilege to dine at Yabu: The House of Katsu! I’ve been hearing some famous bloggers and personalities rave about this Japanese Tonkatsu restaurant, and today I finally got to experience and find out what this commotion is all about! Now I can brag about my excellent dining experience at Yabu just like the other foodies who’s raving about the best katsu house in town. I’ve always enjoyed Katsu, and after hearing so much about Yabu: The House of Katsu, I had to give it a try. And I’m just so glad I did. I finally got to eat at Yabu after 10,000 years!! Hahaha :)) I was really excited about trying this restaurant because of all the rave reviews online. What’s more, I don’t eat sushi or anything raw so whenever we go to a Japanese restaurant, the only thing I order is Tonkatsu or Katsudon. So imagine eating someplace called The House of Katsu? Heaven!
Yabu: House of Katsu. Is it really worth the hype? :) Does it really deserve all these raves and approvals?
Yabu is supposed to be the first and only authentic Katsu restaurant in the country, or so they claim. I am not sure if that account is true, but that’s what it says inside their informative menu. For those who are not familiar what katsu is, to quote from their menu, “The word katsu is an abbreviation of the word “katsuretsu,” which means cutlet. It generally refers to a sliced piece of meat that is breaded and deep fried.” So if you are overly health conscious, this place is not for you ’cause almost everything is beautifully deep fried in here. Anyway, if you want to learn more about Yabu and katsu, their menu is very helpful. Yabu prides itself for having renowned Japanese chef Kazuya Takeda as the culinary mastermind behind their katsu menu. Although not based in the Philippines, Chef Kazuya extensively trained the Yabu staff to master the art of perfect katsu cooking.
They have a wide selection of katsu dishes to choose from: pork, chicken, seafood, veggies, name it. Being first timers, we didn’t have a hard time choosing what we want. Every detail about a particular dish is described in the menu that they give to guests.
One unique thing about Yabu is you get to make your own Katsu sauce! While waiting for our food we were given this cool wooden mortar and pestle-like stuff and we have to grind the black and white sesame seeds until its fine! Aaaah, I love the smell of this! After the seeds are crushed, it is now time to pour your desired amount of tonkatsu sauce. This is kinda childish, but I really enjoy grinding the sesame seeds. Superb! If you’re lazy, you can request for ground sesame seeds already. I thought this was quite fun though! The sauce goes well with all their katsu dishes including seafoods. It has the right balance of sweet and tangy and can definitely add taste and texture to bland foods such as the cream dory and prawns.
I find it nice that they ask guests if it is their first time dining in their restaurant because they really give extra attention to you if you are. Since it is our first time, our food attendant familiarized us with the sauces and dressings on our table. He informed us what each is used for. The condiments include Japanese spices, sesame dressing and vinaigrette sauce for the cabbage and salads, and Himalayan salt if you need to add flavor to your food.
After about 10-15 minutes our food arrived: For my parents they ordered Seafood Mix Set 1 (Php485) basically consists of different seafood like black tiger prawn, cream dory, oyster, squid and scallops. If you’re a seafood lover, then this one’s perfect for you! I ordered the Rosu Katsu Curry set (Php375) the crunch of the pork and the hot curry sauce provide some great texture, another winner in Yabu’s menu. You can choose your preferred level of heat, from regular, hot to very hot. Though I asked for my Katsu Curry in a “Regular” level of spiciness, the heat was still present, and added a gentle kick to it in the end. But you know their food didn’t taste unfamiliar to my Japan-trained palate. You’ll get your money’s worth at Yabu as each meal comes with unlimited Japanese rice, unlimited cabbage, miso soup, Japanese pickles, and a bowl of fruit. Their presentation is pretty nice that it made me not want to touch any of it. But, hunger took over and before I knew it everything was gone! Well, except for the plates :) Don’t let the serving size on the photos fool you. All three of us were so full afterwards that we weren’t able to take advantage of their unlimited Japanese rice. But over-all, the combination of the whole set, with the Do-It-Yourself katsu sauce, makes a one-of-a-kind katsu experience. Every element goes well together, but a variety of condiments is readily available on each table for more preferences. To wash it all down, me and daddy ordered Ripe Mango Shake and for my mom Pineapple shake which was for Php100 and Php90 respectively.
Aside from the food, I really love Yabu as a restaurant. The place is spacious, clean, and has that nice relaxed ambiance. Most of all, the staffs are very friendly and attentive even if the place was decently packed. We were very well-taken care of. Shout out to store manager and servers for the excellent service! Yabu has that perfect combination of good food, relaxed atmosphere, and well-mannered staff that makes an excellent casual dining experience.
I like how their interiors pulled of a minimalistic look that was comfortable and cozy at the same time. Their anime-comic-manga decorated walls made me smile and think that I was going to be enjoying my meal there. Be prepared to shell out a bit more though because they are not that cheap but for food that good, the price is really worth it. We were given menus and our waiter patiently answered all our questions and they all seemed very knowledgeable about their product which is another good point for Yabu. Their menu is another good point for them. It is filled with information on how best to enjoy your katsu. So far so good!
We’ll probably be coming back here again as I was totally blown away by it. Service was really fast, and everyone was very courteous from ushering us to our seats, to offering us extra orders. The ambiance and overall look of the place was nice, with the quote riddled walls of the restroom standing out the most. With all that being said, expect us back in Yabu again soon.
Sorry for the lack of photos. It’s hard to take photos while you’re in the middle of eating delicious food.
*SM Megamall – 2/F Mega Atrium
*Robinsons Magnolia – Lower ground floor
*SM Mall of Asia – 2/F South Arcade, Main Mall Atrium
Like their Facebook Page
Check out their website for more info.