Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weekend Food Tripping at: Yabu:House of Katsu

One of the many wonderful experiences we had during our Tokyo trip was definitely, the Food!  During our last day, Mr. AMW and myself went for authentic Tonkatsu (Note: Tonkatsu = Pork Cutlet) as based on research, Japanese cook Tonkatsu  in a very unique way!  Is there any difference with how pork chops would taste base on the way it was cooked? 

The answer is...DEFINITELY!

This was the dish I had in Tokyo that took my breath away, Keith and I weren't talking for 10 minutes as we were quietly enjoying every bite of the Tonkatsu slice with cold, finely shredded cabbage bursting inside our mouths!   It was a strange yet overwhelming sensation!

Now that we're back home, 3 months have passed and there were days I crave for the perfect Tonkatsu I tried in Tokyo and even complained why no one would bring the AUTHENTIC way of cooking Katsu here in Manila!

Well guess what?  Someone finally did!

Chef Kazuya Takeda, the head chef of Tonkatsu Takeshin (a popular Tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo) is Yabu's partner on all things Katsu!  With the skills and knowledge of Chef Takeda on Katsu passed on to our local chefs, I have full faith that I will get to try authentic Tonkatsu here in Manila!

It was a busy weeknight and as soon as we're off from work, we went all the way to SM Megamall (Mind you, we haven't been back for almost a year!) just to visit the newest House of Katsu that recently opened at SM Megamall's Atrium --- YABU.

 The place was packed and it was a weeknight, we were led into our table and that's were the fun begins!

After we took our orders, we were given a bowl of sesame seeds and we were asked to grind it to make our Tonkatsu sauce more aromatic and flavorful!  This was quite new as I didn't get to experience this step in Tokyo!

 After grinding the sesame seeds, you can pour the Tonkatsu Sauce and mix it well.  Okay, while waiting, I dipped my fingers and gave the sauce a try, Tonkatsu Sauce is actually a thick Japanese Worcestershire Sauce but this one is definitely not the type that you can purchase at the grocery!  Keith and I agreed on liking this sauce more than the one we had in Tokyo!  (Must be the additional newly ground sesame seeds that makes it more flavorful.)


 Available on table: Tonkatsu Sauce, Sesame Salad Dressing, 
Salad Oil, Pig Salt, and various spices

Hire and Seafood Katsu Set
Php475.00 (approx $11.00)
Hire (pork), Black Tiger Prawn, Cream Dory, Scallop, Eggplant & Pepper 
served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles,
 unlimited cabbage and sesame dressing plus bowl of fruit.

 If you're a first time Yabu customer like us, This is one of the best starter set to try!  You get to try their Tonkatsu and other seafood!  The Tonkatsu is definitely the exact (or even better version) of the one we had in Tokyo, and what took our breathe away?  How the medallion of scallop was thick yet very tender (how'd they do that?  I have no idea!)  From one bite to another, we were having this huge crazy grin on our faces!  

Each of the ingredients were coated with the right thickness of bread crumbs deep fried into perfection by maintaining the right temperature  There's no oily feel left on your taste buds!  If you like a zest of lemon, they have a slice of lemon for you to lightly drizzle it and top it with the special Tonkatsu sauce or feel free to be more adventurous and try on Japanese mustard.  Whatever choice you make, it'll be a happy experience!

Yabu Special Katsudon Sets 
(Chicken Katsudon)
Php330.00 (approx $7.70)
 Served with miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage
with sesame dressing and bowl of fruit

As I took one glance at the photo of this dish, I excitedly pointed it and ordered it right away!  Guess what?  Most of the restaurants have great looking pictures but looks disappointing once served, for Yabu, the dish served looks EVEN BETTER than on photos!  The bowl of "surprises" as I call it!  What do you get upon ordering this dish?

Chicken drizzled with miso based sauce accompanied by our ultimate favorite Nori, bonito flakes (used on Takoyaki) and fried sunny side up egg on top!  Once mixed together, the sauce, the various ingredients all mixed together was enough to make me ruin my diet!  Mr. AMW exclaimed: "This is the most unique Katsudon I've tried to date!" I second the motion.

Creamy Crab
A La Carte
 Another unique tasting dish, imagine biting on crab salad with crunchy "shell" on the exterior!  I left the lemon on the side and went ahead enjoying every bite even without condiments!

Our drinks for the night!  Of course, Mr. AMW has his trustee Coca Cola! I went for ripe Mango Shake.

 Before I end this post, let me share to you how unique Yabu, House of Katsu is not only in terms of their food but also their interiors!  As I got in to their wash room, check out the "Wall of Fame"!  Reviews, features by various publications were visible!  It was a fun read as I know a lot of the bloggers that were featured! The next person waiting outside the restroom probably didn't enjoy the fact that I was taking my time inside!  *sorry* hehehe

Overall, service was great!  Though the restaurant was packed, the servers were very friendly and patient in explaining the menu!  They seem to know the food really well as I get to pick my orders easily!  

How about the food?  Well, I've got nothing more to say but Yabu definitely surpasses all my expectations!  They have definitely brought authentic Katsu straight from Tokyo to Manila!  I'm very happy with my experience and would definitely go back!

Yabu: House of Katsu
2nd Floor Mega Atrium,
SM Megamall, Philippines
Tel. no: (632) 576-3900
Facebook Page:

 Have you tried Yabu?
What's your experience?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


  1. i really like Yabu! but i try not to go often cause grabe sa kabusugan! -LovingSunshine

    1. I know, we left the restaurant super busog! Literally can't breathe coz we can't stop eating! LOL

  2. I love a really good Tonkatsu. This place looks really good and I've never seen that grinding of sesame seeds. That's cool!

    1. Yes, me too! I may have missed those restaurants that offers that kind of grinding when I was in Tokyo! But I'm glad to try authentic Tonkatsu here in Manila! Any similar places there in the US?

  3. Hi Nikki!

    Thank you for inspiring me as a newbie. And for that, I'm giving you this.. (link to this site to see...)

  4. Hi Nikki!

    Thank you so much for this awesome entry! :) We're grinning from ear to ear as well just by reading that you liked it even better than the ones you've tried in Tokyo! Oh, we also love our giant scallops deeply. :) Thank you so much and we hope to see you again soon at Yabu!

    The Yabu Team


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