Yabu: The House of Katsu has been around for some time and it has already gained quite a following (It’s been named as one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants for 2012). I have a number of friends who have been to the place and enjoyed their dining experiences. I wasn’t able to blog about my first visit to Yabu many months ago when they first opened their doors to the public, so I decided that my second visit was something that I should finally write about.
The second visit was a lunch out with my family. It was also my parents and my older brother’s first time to try the place out. We decided to forego any appetizers and stuck with iced (service) barley tea for drinks.
Before you start the meal (and if you ordered any of the katsu sets), you are given a bowl filled with sesame seeds. The practice is you’re supposed to grind the seeds into a fine powder, pour some tonkatsu sauce in the bowl, mix them a bit and then use this as your dipping sauce for the meat. Mom enjoyed grinding the seeds and I can’t blame her; the aroma that those seeds give off are extremely good!
Mom ordered the Hire Katsudon Set (Php335.00), which means that her tonkatsu had very minimal layer of fat (it’s pork fillet). This was served with unlimited cabbage, a bowl of miso soup, Japanese pickles and a bowl of fresh fruit.
Dad decided to get the one of the mixed katsu sets: Chicken and Seafood Kastu Set (Php475.00). He definitely enjoyed that one, especially when he noticed how tender the chicken meat was and because he liked the fried oyster which was part of the set. Similar to Mom’s set, Dad’s also came with unlimited servings of cabbage, a bowl of miso soup, pickles and fresh fruits. The only difference was Dad’s also came with unlimited servings of rice.
Dhya and I decided to order the same main dish: 120g Rosu (Pork Loin) Tonkatsu Set (Php355.00). Rosu meant that our pork loin had a little more fat compared to the hire. By the way, the tonkatsu in the Rosu sets come in 90g, 120g or 180g servings. The sets also had the same side dishes as the one Dad had (the photo above is only of the rosu tonkatsu and cabbage salad).
We really enjoyed the rosu! I had a grand time eating it with the mustard and sea salt, while Dhya had it with the sesame seed-tonkatsu sauce. Everyone also liked the cabbage salad, which you eat with either the sesame dressing or the shoyu (soy sauce) vinaigrette.
I’m very happy that the parents enjoyed what they had for lunch, and that they wouldn’t mind eating there again when we’re in the area. There are times when it’s a bit challenging to please my parents, but Yabu was successful with that one.
Apart from the really nice interiors and the delicious food, one of the other things I like about the place is the shirts that their team members wear. I wanted the one with the names of the dishes printed on the front, but I didn’t want to ask if they were selling them. After our meal, my brother decided to ask one of the servers on my behalf and guess what? They WERE selling the shirts to interested customers! *throws fist up in the air* I don’t normally do this, but I couldn’t contain myself and we decided to buy one shirt each:
Mine’s the one on the left, Dhya’s on the right. Each shirt was around Php180.00. It sucks that the design that was on top of my list was no longer available in my size, but at least there was still something available for me to bring home. 😀
**Yabu: The House of Katsu is located at the 2nd floor of SM Megamall’s Atrium in Mandaluyong City. Please go early if you plan to drop by; like most of the good restaurants in the metro, this one gets packed pretty fast!
**You may learn more about them by visiting their Facebook page.