New dishes from Yabu: the house of Katsu...
It took me a long while to try Yabu, mainly because I feared the hype may be all there is to it. When I finally did, though, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the food lived up to its ostentatious publicity. Needless to say, any tonkatsu I've consumed thereafter has been compared to Yabu's stellar Kurobuta Katsu, and so far, I've yet to taste one that can overthrow it from its throne.
On my next visits, I did manage to restrain myself from ordering the same, with a need to also try other mouthwatering items on the menu. We started with their new appetizers...
Here they use chilled Japanese spinach that's mixed with sweet goma or the sesame seed sauce, then topped with bonito flakes. I keep finding a shy hint of nuttiness in some bites, though I'm not sure why, perhaps because of the sesame seeds? Not my cup of tea (or in my case, coffee).
The Iidako Salad is made of baby octopus marinated in a sweet-savory sauce riddled with slices of cucumber. There was an interplay of sweetness and a bit of spiciness which really prepared your appetite for the dishes to come. I did favor this one over the former, but still, I'd be more inclined to order the Wakame or the Superior Potato and Egg Salad next time.
The sets all come with unlimited Japanese white rice or organic brown rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, organic cabbage with your choice of dressing, and a bowl of fruits, usually pineapple and watermelon. My favorite among these is the unlimited cabbage, which I douse with---no, make that drown in---goma (sesame) dressing. I just inhale it away like a madman; it's just so good! I usually have two servings per visit. I hope they sell their goma dressing in bottles soon, I want my own at home. By the way, they also have a Wasabi dressing which I haven't tasted yet.
As for the Rosu (Pork Loin) Katsu, they now use certified U.S. Pork for a softer and tastier meat. I think they achieved their purpose, for when I put a forkful into my mouth, I almost did a double take, and questioned whether I was eating the Kurobuta. A stolen piece from my brother' Kurobuta set dish confirmed that I wasn't. Kurobuta was still more tender in comparison, but still it was close enough. And for a couple of hundred bucks difference, I'd say this was a pretty good deal.
Now take the Rosu (Pork Loin) Katsu, add some sweet miso sauce, then sprinkle it with chopped spring onions and ground sesame seeds, and you get this. Though the Filipino palate usually favors the sweet side of viands, I think I'd stick with the regular katsu fare. It was nice for the first few bites, but after that, it became a little sweet for my taste. Yes, there was a bit of tang, but for the most part, it was saccharine. If you prefer your pork drenched in sweet sauce, though, this is a pretty good choice.
Still, my ultimate favorite Yabu dish---aside from the Kurobuta Katsu---is the Soft Shell Crab Katsu. I had this a few weeks prior to this meal, and I was smitten! While I do love soft shell crabs to begin with, this was unusually bigger than most, making you savor it with more gusto. That crunch, together with the underlying crab meat that's peppered with the occasional soft shell, was just music to the ears and the palate. How can you say no to eating crabs without the hassle? The answer is, you just can't.
I have a predilection for ice creams more than I do for cakes, so to end a meal with one is always a good thing in my book. There's nothing really extraordinary with these treats, nonetheless, it was just nice to cleanse the palate with something sweet that's cold at the same time.
Spot: G/L SM Southmall, Alabang-Zapote Rd., Almanza Uno, Las Piñas
Contact No.: 800.0447
To celebrate FRM's 2nd Anniversary, Yabu has magnanimously sponsored a giveaway for FRM's readers and followers!
For this one, we'll do it a little differently. This time, we won't leave it up to fate. I want you guys to get creative, and show me why you deserve to win this.
- ONE (1) winner of a Php 2,000 Gift Certificate from Yabu
- Anyone who lives in the Philippines is eligible to join; however, the prize is only redeemable at Yabu's Metro Manila branches.
- Contest runs from August 19, 2013 until September 18, 2013.
- You must have a valid and active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to join.
- Please follow the instructions below.
- Please follow instructions (put the correct message, tag the sponsors in the message, submit direct links, tag your friends,etc) for your entry to count.
- Make sure that your Facebook shared posts are set to "Public" (the posting option is beside the time/date of your post, just set it to the globe icon), and your Twitter and Instagram accounts are not protected/locked, otherwise I might not be able to view them, and your entry will not be counted.
- The winner will be announced on this website on September 22, 2013.
- Winner will also be notified via email and must be willing to pick up the prize at Yabu's branch in SM Megamall, SM MOA, Robinsons Magnolia, SM Aura or SM Southmall. Please present a valid ID when claiming your prize.
- The gift certificates have no expiry, but it is recommended that you redeem and use them before December 31, 2013.
- Like Yabu: House of Katsu on Facebook
- Like Food Reviews Manila on Facebook
- Follow @yabuPH on Twitter
- Follow @foodreviewsMNLA on Twitter
- Follow @yabuph on Instagram
- Follow @foodreviewsmanila on Instagram
- Click the TWEET button on the top or bottom of this post, then write this message on the box: Are you kidding?? Of course I want to win a P2,000 GC from @yabuPH via @foodreviewsMNLA's Giveaway! Do you? Join now! http://www.foodreviewsmanila.com/2013/08/food-reviews-manilas-2nd-anniversary_15.html
- Click the Facebook LIKE button on the top or bottom of this post, then write this message on the box, making sure that you tag our Facebook pages (Food Reviews Manila and Yabu: House of Katsu), and tag two of your friends: Are you kidding?? Of course I want to win a P2,000 GC from Yabu: House of Katsu!! Come on, let's join Food Reviews Manila's giveaway! NOW!! :) @friend1 @friend2
- Leave a Blog Post Comment:
- Have you tried Yabu? If yes, what makes it different from other Katsu restaurants? If no, why do you want to eat at Yabu?
- How much of an FRM fan are you? BE creative, you can upload a photo showing how much you love reading FRM, you can post a photo quote that reminds you of FRM, or you can even write a poem. Bonus points to the ones who can also take a photo of themselves with the FRM testimonial in one of Yabu's testimonial walls, and I won't tell which branch. ;)
- Enter the direct link to your Twitter and Facebook posts.
- Please write your complete name (as shown in your valid ID) and email address.
And the very creative and lucky winner is...
Congratulations! I'll be in touch with you soon for details on how to claim your prize.
Again, thank you very much to Yabu for being a part of FRM's anniversary celebration! :)