When in Manila, the best katsu that’s creating a big, big buzz in the blogosphere is said to be found at Yabu: The House of Katsu.
For many, “home is where the heart is”, but for most carnivorous foodies, “home is where the best katsu is”. Yabu: The House of Katsu brought to Manila a better dining experience filled with katsu dishes made using premium meat and prime ingredients to razzle-dazzle our distinctive taste buds.
Yabu: The House of Katsu just opened up last year at the 2/F The Atrium of SM Megamall and yet it has already stirred a lot of positive foodie raves. In addition to that, it was awarded with the “Dish of the Year for 2012” by Esquire Philippines.
Yabu – Dish of the Year Awardee from Esquire Philippines
Katsu, or Katsuretsu, is of Japanese origin that means a food made from a meat cutlet – usually pork called tonkatsu. But katsu variants made with chicken, beef, or seafood is also becoming more and more popular. The meat is patted with Japanese bread crumbs or panko then it is deep-fried. The cooked meat is sliced into bite-size chunks right before serving. Katsu is commonly served with a side of rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup. Yabu serves its katsu in this traditional manner but with unlimited servings of fragrant Koshihikari rice, shredded organic cabbage, and delicious sauces.
The Yabu Difference
Since Yabu opened its doors in Manila, a good friend of mine has been asking me nonstop to check out the place. Though I was not a fan of pork and hypes, I gave in and at the start of 2012, we paid Yabu our first visit.
Several months after we first dined at Yabu, our prediction became true – it gained lots of loyal patrons. As proof, Yabu expanded its posh store in The Atrium in SM Megamall – now also occupying the nearby stall. But still during rush hour, even with the additional space, it is still not enough to cater to its large mob of hungry katsu hunters that you have to get listed and wait. Luckily, we had the great opportunity to get invited for lunch by Miss Denise Cabotage, Brand Manager of Yabu: The House of Katsu, for our second visit and to try their new line of katsu.
Yabu: The House of Katsu
With our growling stomach, we went to Yabu to have a large plateful of their new katsu. Dining in Yabu begins with learning how to create your own sauce. This interactive experience is not only fun but it also teaches the right way to crush the sesame seeds and get the most flavor for your katsu sauce. Since it is our second time to eat at Yabu, we are no stranger in the sesame-seed-crushing department of the dining experience. To get the most flavor, you need to pour in a little force to the seeds and move your pestle in a circular manner. This perfectly brings out the fresh oil of the seeds.
Crushing the Sesame Seeds
After crushing the sesame seeds, you pour in two scoops of Yabu‘s special tonkatsu sauce. You can make it three scoops is you like it saucy. This is called the best katsu sauce and now you know how to do it.
Yabu‘s Katsu Sauce
The New Yabu Special Katsudon is known as the sunny side of Katsudon. It is a giant bowl of rice with katsu then drizzled with a light and sweet miso-based sauce. It is topped with nori, bonito flakes, and a sunny side egg. The runny yolk is oozing with flavor that is perfect for the entire bowl. It is originally created by Master Kazuya guaranteed to surprise and satisfy. You can choose from pork (hire – fillet or rosu – loin), chicken, or shrimp & fish.
New Yabu Special Katsudon
The Seafood Katsu Set is a novel dish from Yabu. We tried the New Seafood Katsu Set 2 that contains the creamy crab, two thick cuts of salmon, black tiger prawn and Hiroshima jumbo oyster. Eating this is having a burst of the flavors of the sea in your mouth.
New Seafood Katsu Set 2
Our favorite is the salmon – it’s so soft and tasty that we can eat it everyday.
Salmon from the New Seafood Katsu Set 2
We also indulged ourselves with the old favorite – the Katsu Curry Set. The katsu is immersed in Japanese curry sauce, which is thicker, milder, and sweeter compared to other Asian curry variants.
Katsu Curry Set
It was quite heart-warming to see an excerpt of my previous review on the wall of Yabu. Truly awesome!
The Foodie and the Yabu Food Rave Wall
The serving at Yabu is pretty huge – everything is delicious and filling. Price may be quite high but the quality of the food and service is great. We highly recommend it especially for people who love a good serving of katsu – may it be pork, chicken, or seafood. We are looking forward to more new Yabu katsu dishes. A Yabu katsu sandwich, perhaps?
When in Manila, katsu is synonymous to Yabu. ‘Nuff said.
2/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, 1552 Manila, Philippines
Contact No: +632 576-3900, 919-4453
Facebook: Yabu: House of Katsu
Read more about our first Yabu experience here.
Yabu: The House of Katsu – Home is Where the Best Katsu Is