Friday Food Trip: Yabu House of Katsu

After ten million years, I was finally able to get a table in Yabu House of Katsu! I’ve been wanting to try their well-received katsu sets for the longest time, but their branches have always been bursting with diners. But hey, nowadays, the odds are in my favor! I’ve been to the place twice in the last two months!

Yabu’s interiors are sleek and minimal, and distinctly Japanese: manga panels, low stools, sake bottles, and wooden boards.

Admittedly there are many katsu places in Manila but Yabu prides itself in chefs who trained under Chef Kazuya Takeda, dubbed the Master of Katsu in Tonkatsu Takeshin, a Tokyo favorite.

So is Yabu really worth the hype? Read about my experience to find out.

Their Chicken Katsudon Set (PhP315) is classified under the Original Katsudon Sets category. The rice meal comes with miso soup, Japanese pickles, assorted fruit slices, and unlimited Japanese rice and cabbage.

Yabu’s katsudon bowl contains a very generous helping of chicken and scrambled egg drizzled with sweet sauce. There’s nothing particularly special about Yabu’s katsudon, but it was sufficiently good and filling. Theirs is good katsudon, but I don’t know if it’s the best. I’m not quite sure I can place in a league of its own.

But their Chicken Katsu Set is a revelation. It’s priced as follows, according to the amount of serving: 80g (PhP360), 120g (PhP325.00), and (PhP310). (Your level of hungriness will help you decide which among the denominations is most suitable for you. Haha!)

Much like the Katsudon Set, the Katsu Set also comes with miso soup, Japanese pickles, assorted fruit slices, and unlimited Japanese rice and cabbage. I think the dynamic in which Yabu set meals function is so in sync, so one is always assured of a good meal. Everything on the tray works well together and when taken in part!

I now understand why people have been flocking to get a taste of Yabu’s Chicken Katsu. Theirs is crunchy, cooked to the core, and rid of excess oil and fat. The meat is tender and made even more flavorful by their tonkatsu sauce as seen below.

While waiting for your katsu, servers will be handing out bowls containing black and white sesame seeds. You’re supposed to grind the seeds ’til their powdery, mix in some of their yummy tonkatsu sauce, and you’re good to go! I love the slight kick of this sauce. It complements the warm slices of katsu very well.

These meals, while in the form of sets to be enjoyed by one, are great to share with friends. Great to pair with their house tea, too, which are either served hot or cold. I also like that serving size in Yabu is huge, and that they offer unlimited servings of cabbage (to die for when drizzled with their sesame sauce) and rice. What a great deal for only PhP300+.

Service in Yabu is excellent too; my companions and I were properly assisted the minute we entered their restaurant. They also kept checking on us, see if we needed anything to make our stay most enjoyable.

Click on the link below to find out more about Yabu.

Taste – 5/5 | Ambience – 4/5 |Variety – 4.5/5 | Service – 5/5 | Pricing – 4/5 | Would Go Back? – Yes

Yabu | 2F SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave; GF Robinsons Magnolia, Doña M Hemady Ave

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