For a while now, @yabuPH has been making a lot of noise on the local Twitterverse. I don’t know if it has a lot to do with personally knowing Mike, thus having him on my feed but for weeks people have been going on and on raving about it. Yesterday, Carina and I finally had the chance to head out to Megamall’s Atrium to get our hands on some Yabu Katsu. We’re both such big fried food nerds, it was a really exciting experience. And I was starved.
When you enter Yabu, you’ll be greeted by this anime comic on the left wall. Read it, it’s really cute. The interiors of the place are comfortable and roomy which is something I appreciate in restaurants. Ventilation is wonderful as well so if you think you’ll head out smelling like fried food, think again.
I’m generally not so big on pork so if I had to rank meat in order, pork would be last place by default. But since tonkatsu really is primarily a pork dish and Yabu’s specialty, we both decided to order the Kurobuta US Premium Pork Set at Php 515. I read on the menu that Kurobuta is a special sort and is often referred to as the “kobe beef of pork” for its tenderness and marbling. Before the food arrives, the waiting staff brings out a bowl of sesame seeds that you’re supposed to grind and mix with the katsu sauce; the outcome is pure genius. On first bite, I knew I was hooked. The batter was extremely thin and fried to a crisp while the pork inside stayed extremely juicy, doused in the katsu sauce with sesame bits and some togarashi. There was a party in my tummy.
As gluttons to the core extreme, we didn’t just stop at ordering one set each. We ordered seafood via ala carte, the Black Tiger Prawns (Php 125), Oysters (Php 100) and Scallops (Php 100). These side orders are priced per piece, it may seem a little bit pricey but its well worth it because their seafood is really big and really good. These were served with lemon and some sort of Jap mayo based sauce.
Here is the oyster breaded and fried to perfection! As you can see it is quite large and well worth it. This may just be the best oyster I’ve had in a long, long time and it’s certainly something, I’d drive all the way to Megamall for. There’s a sesame-Jap mayo based salad dressing on the table that’s supposed to be used with the unlimited cabbage that comes with the set meal. Typically, I ignored the cabbage and tried eating my seafood katsu with the dressing and it was perfect. I suggest you do the same.
I’m sorry I am showing you this photo of Carina’s half-eaten scallop. I ate mine too quickly and with gusto before I managed to photograph it up close so this should do. As you can tell from the untouched seafood group photo above, this was once huge. The scallop tasted rich and buttery, as it is supposed to and I loved it. This is also something I would drive all the way to Megamall for. They have wonderful seafood.
Overall, I was immensely happy with my Yabu experience. I’m pretty sure Carina was as well. Their staff was attentive and made sure our glasses always had water. They were even nice enough to suggest that we be moved to a bigger table just because we had so much food. To this day, I am craving those damn oysters. I think I’ll head back to Yabu tomorrow, this time, with my mother. Thank you ,Mike for throwing that party in my belly!
Yabu: House of Katsu
2/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall,
1552 Manila, Philippines
Mon – Sun: 10:00-22:00
!!! The meal prices on the menu are not inclusive of 12% VAT and 5% Service Charge so it’d be safe to mentally add 17% when picking an order, just to make sure you’re budgeting right.
2012 Update! Yabu added more items on their menu and added a new branch at Robinson’s Magnolia. My new katsu favorites are the Chicken Curry Katsu (Php 320) in it’s spiciest state and the Original Katsudon (Php 320). It isn’t on the menu but they serve flourless chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice cream for dessert.