Everyone just keeps on raving about Yabu. I used to think that all the hype was overrated until I tried it out myself. Well, after my first Yabu experience, I'm glad to tell you that, yes, Yabu is so worth the hype!
Yabu: The House of Katsu
What kept me from trying it out was the perenially long queue, since I hate waiting. Well, people don't really line up outside the restaurant, but you'd have to reserve for a slot. Expect to wait for about 1 hour during weekend lunch and dinners.
One lucky Monday, my colleagues and I didn't have work so off we went to Robinsons Magnolia for lunch at Yabu. We arrived early, a few minutes before 12 noon so we were seated immediately. After we settled into our seats, our orders were taken by their courteous and friendly waiter. A few minutes passed, and while waiting, I noticed that the restaurant is now full of customers - even on a Monday! The restaurants surrounding Yabu had a few diners here and there, but Yabu is really something.
On our table were these bottles of Japanese condiments, which goes well the katsu they serve. The sesame dressing goes especially well with the cabbage salad.
We were each given a small saucer of pepper to ground and mix with their sauce. Since I am sauce-averse (I just made that word up), meaning I don't like any form of sauce touching my food, I gave mine away.
Here's what we ordered:
Menchi Katsu Curry Set (P370.00)
Authentic Japanese minced meat, made with superior ground beef and pork, mixed together with Yabu's special spices, and stuffed with a rich combination of creamy cheese and Yabu's curry sauce.
This one's obviously not mine, but for my curry-loving friend. Notice the brown rice - Yabu serves Japanese white rice or brown rice according to your preference. As for this dish, curry's spiciness drowned most of the katsu's flavor.
Now, I'm excited to present to you my order, which instantly became my favorite: the Menchi Katsu Set.
Menchi Katsu Set (P350.00)
Served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit
Authentic Japanese minced meat, made with superior ground beef and pork, mixed together with Yabu's special spices, and stuffed with creamy cheese.
The Menchi Katsu Set came with unlimited Japanese rice. I had 3 servings (2 Japanese rice, 1 brown rice). I admit, I eat like a boy! The Japanese rice was sticky and fragrant, and was a hit among my colleagues, but I also liked the brown rice. It had a coarser and drier texture, but it was healthier. This set also comes with unlimited cabbage. Since I'm not exactly crazy about vegetables, I didn't ask for a refill.
This set also comes with a bowl of steaming miso soup.
Also, there were Japanese pickles and a bowl of watermelon and sweet pineapple slices.
With other katsus, I have a hard time even slicing the breading and meat, and they would mostly taste like flour. The breading of Yabu's katsu is so crisp yet soft at the same time. The minced beef and pork were just so tender and flavorful. And the best part is the cheese - just look at how it oozes out of the katsu. Just a bite was all it took! I am so hooked to the Menchi Katsu, that I ordered this again after a week when I visited Yabu with my family.
For Northerners, you'd be thrilled to know that Yabu will be opening a branch in SM City North EDSA The Block sometime in July 2013. I am so excited for that! :D Which one of Yabu's dishes do you like best? I'd like to know your recommendations.