My friends and colleagues can attest to the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of Yabu – The House of Katsu. I started raving about it January 2012 when I first tried out Yabu’s Katsu set at their SM Megamall branch. Whenever people ask me where to eat, Yabu will always be my favourite answer. Ironically, I haven’t blogged about Yabu. I guess when you eat food that you truly like, you would just want to relax, eat and stop thinking about documenting it.
I felt it would be such a shame for me as a blogger not writing the food that I’ve been raving about for a year now. Yesterday, I went to Yabu’s newest branch at Mall of Asia, which opened officially last November 28, 2012 to try out their newest katsu sets. As usual, there were long lines outside the restaurant!
Yabu has established itself very effectively as one of the most sought after restaurant by foodies. You rarely will see a vacant table inside Yabu. That is proof how successful Yabu restaurant is!
Love manga? Then you will surely dig Yabu’s interiors! All branches have manga panels on the wall for your reading pleasure.
I’m not an alcohol drinker but boy, Yabu’s bar looked so slick with all those bottles beautifully lined up!
Since Yabu specializes on katsu, let me talk a bit about its beginnings. Katsu comes from the word ‘katsuretsu’ which means ‘cutlet’. Katsu is considered as one of the staple dishes in Japanese cuisine. When you see sliced pieces of meat that are deep fried and breaded, that’s katsu. Now, if you want to eat the best katsu in Metro Manila, then you should head on over to Yabu. You won’t get disappointed!
Here are the three new dishes by Yabu’s Chef Kazuya Takeda:
- Menchi Katsu Set (Php 350)
authentic Japanese minced meat, made with superior ground beef and pork, mixed together with Yabu’s special spices, and stuffed with creamy cheese.
The menchi katsu might look the same as other Yabu specialties but when you start to take a bite, you are in for a sweet, cheesy surprise!
Yabu put together ground beef and ground pork, quick-melt creamy cheese and wrapped it in Yabu’s fresh panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)! The result was a tasteful menchi which I think is a hit especially for cheese-loving folks. I, myself, was surprised as to how flavorful it was!
Dip each menchi katsu slice into the sauce which we had a hand in preparing. Before we started our meal, a waiter handed out a sauce container with sesame seeds and a mortar. All we had to do was to (1) grind the black & white sesame seeds, (2) pour sauce over the freshly grinded sesame seeds, (3) mix the ingredients, and lastly (4) dip the katsu into the sauce. An activity I truly appreciate and made the Yabu experience even more exciting & fun!
With the uniqueness of menchi katsu, it’s definitely a good addition to Yabu’s already excellent menu.
- Menchi Katsu Curry Set (Php 370)
Authentic Japanese minced meat, made with superior ground beef and pork, mixed together with Yabu’s special spices, and stuffed with a rich combination of creamy cheese and Yabu’s curry sauce.
With Menchi Katsu Curry, you’ll get the same ground beef/ground pork/creamy cheese/panko mixture. However, this dish was bathing in a thick Japanese curry sauce. If you dislike curry, you have to consider because Yabu’s version is different. The sauce actually felt like gravy with a hint of curry so it was pretty mild.
- Soft Shell Crab Set (Php 480)
one luscious Japanese soft-shell crab, coated generously with fresh panko, fried to crispy perfection. soft-shell crabs are ordinary crabs harvested immediately after they’ve discarded their old shells, so their new shells are still soft.
Two of my ultimate favorite food items of all time are shrimps and crabs. As soon as I saw that soft shell crabs is one of the newest offering of Yabu, I immediately ordered it for myself.
Soft shell crabs are the ones that have recently switched their shells thus making it soft and edible. One order of Yabu’s Soft Shell Crab Set has one whole piece of crab.
When I sliced my order in half, I was in crab heaven! Those crab meat exposed was just smiling happily at me. It was sad that I can’t seem to stare at it any longer because I had to eat it immediately out of eagerness!
The Soft Shell Crab Katsu comes with a special Ponzu Layu sauce. It’s a special Yabu creation made of radish, lemon and some other secret spices. It gave a nice kick to the dish.. oh man, crabs! I can live with eating crabs all my life!
We all ordered the new dishes as a Katsu set.
Each Yabu katsu set includes unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit.
I just have to mention that the fruits we had yesterday were superbly fresh and sweet! We were actually surprised that even to the small detail, Yabu had to make sure that they gave us the best.
Oh, and one more thing, the cabbage that Yabu serves is one of the things I always look forward to! I can eat like 8 refills of cabbage. It’s THAT good! If you’re on a diet, you can skip the rice and just bulge on the cabbage.
Of course, enjoying an excellent Yabu meal with good friends is a perfect way to spend a good lunch!
Yabu has definitely gone a long way. In just a short time, it has grown its brand beautifully and has expanded twice. I hope they open more branches, Makati & Taguig people are waiting for Yabu!
With the new katsu dishes infused into the menu, Yabu continues to delight us customers and our yearning tummies. I’ll see you again soon, Yabu!
Yabu – The House of Katsu
2/F SM Mall of Asia, Main Mall Atrium, South Arcade, Pacific Drive, Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay City, Philippines