Yabu: I won a free meal from the House of Katsu!

Before 2011 drew to a close, I was able to try Yabu: House of Katsu located in SM Megamall The Atrium. In fact, my first experience at the katsu destination was quite memorable that it made the sixth place in my Top 10 list of food and drink spots for 2011. And after over 7 months of missing Yabu, I finally got to visit the restaurant yet again.
Sesame Seeds for Grinding

This time, I got lucky as I've won Yabu's Father's Day Promo on their Facebook Page. I planned to use it for the special day itself so my dad can also get a taste of Yabu's soft and juicy katsu, as well as try the new dishes they now offer. However, since only 3 winners were allowed to claim their prize per day and I wasn't one of the first 3 to reserve a spot, we just celebrated Father's Day at Shi Lin instead. It wasn't until last week that I (with the beau) finally got to claim my prize, but all the waiting was definitely worth it.

Condiments at Yabu

Unlike my first trip to the restaurant, Yabu now has a bigger dining space providing more comfort to guests. And just like my last visit, we were first given sesame seeds for grinding which I enjoy doing. We were still pouring some Bulldog-branded tonkatsu sauce on our pounded sesame seeds when our server Jhun, delivered us two glasses of Bottomless Lemonade (P80) and a container of our Duo of Appetizers (P195).

Potato Salad and Edamame Beans

We were given my favorite Potato Salad and a bowl of healthy Edamame. Being a potato lover, it was nice that I got to taste Yabu's creamy and flavorful potato salad again. It tasted just like how I remembered it, and I think I've loved it even more.

Edamame Beans Potato Salad

The Edamame was also a nice snack to munch while we wait for our sets. These boiled young green soybeans were addicting and I just loved peeling the beans off from the pod. The date didn't enjoy them quite as much, but that's great news. More beans for me!

Yabu Special Katsu Set

I've actually won a prize good for 3 people, but with a tandem of me and my date, no amount of food can be too much to handle. So when our server brought out the main dishes starting with a Yabu Special Katsu Set, it was time to put our game faces on.

Rosu Special Katsudon P330

We were specifically given the Rosu Special Katsudon (P330), a bowl of sauced-rice and pork loin tonkatsu topped with a sunny side-up egg, bonito flakes and nori strips. This also comes with miso soup, unlimited cabbage shreds, Japanese pickles and fruit slices.

Rosu Special Katsudon

I love the Rosu Tonkatsu Set (P315) I've had for my last trip, but I can definitely say that this bowl of Rosu Special Katsudon is as good, if not better. The tonkatsu slices were tender and succulent, while the breading is still as crunchy as I remember. One edge it has compared to the plain tonkatsu set though is the yummy combination of rice, tonkatsu sauce, bonito flakes, nori and fried egg. Although it looked quite messy in the bowl, mixing everything together can bring out a lovely combination of savory flavors.

Katsu Curry Set

The date and I have agreed to share all 3 sets. But of course, we ended up finishing a set on our own. So while he willingly let me devour the Rosu Special Katsudon, he decided to have the Katsu Curry Set even though he's not generally too fond of curry.

Chicken Katsu Curry P320

We were given the Chicken Katsu Curry (P320), an old item at Yabu of breaded chicken slices, potatoes, carrots and curry sauce atop a serving of steaming white rice. Like the other sets in the resto, this serving is also inclusive of a hot bowl of miso soup, unlimited cabbage shreds and pickles, with some watermelon and pineapple slices.

Chicken Katsu Curry

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of curry dishes too, but Yabu's curry isn't as spicy or as overbearing of a curry flavor than most curry dishes I've tried. You'll still get that distinct curry taste, but in a nice moderation for the palate. The chicken katsu on the other hand, is tender albeit not as juicy as pork. But in the end, the beau surprisingly liked his set.

Mixed Seafood Katsu Set

Third on our table was the new Seafood Katsu Set offering at Yabu. And since both the date and I are big seafood lovers, we decided to finish this set together, fifty-fifty.

Seafood Katsu Set 1 P485

We were specifically served with the Seafood Katsu Set 1 (P485), a seafood feast of breaded black tiger prawn, cream dory, scallop, oyster and squid, served with karashi (Japanese mustard) and a garlic mayo dip. Of course, this set also comes with unlimited cabbage shreds, steamed Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles and fruit slices.

Seafood Katsu Set 1

With the breading, it was quite hard to tell which is the oyster and which is the scallop. And unfortunately, I first got a taste of the oyster. Although I generally love oysters, especially fresh ones, it was a little weird eating an oyster katsu. The crispy breading was enjoyable to munch, but the soft and slightly gooey texture of the oyster didn't really give a good contrast. The scallop on the other hand was good, but I'd rather eat it without the breading to fully enjoy it. Although I didn't have a good start with this set, I really enjoyed the squid and cream dory katsus as the breading suited them very well. And while I expected the breading to go perfect with the prawn, it was a little hard for the bite.

Off-Menu Dessert

From what I know, Yabu still doesn't offer dessert items as of the moment. However, since it was stated that there'll be one dessert included in my prize, we were given a choice of Chocolate Lava or Selecta Magnum Bar. Of course, since I've already had Magnum before (and I can easily get it from 7-Eleven), I decided to go with the former.

Chocolate Lava Dessert

Our Chocolate Lava came in with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. And although it might look a little small, it's definitely one sweet and chocolatey dessert perfect to cap off a hearty Yabu meal. The chocolate lava cake is really moist and has a rich dark chocolate flavor. I just loved eating it by itself, but if you want some cold sweetness to it like the beau, spoon some ice cream and let it blend with the warm choco goodness.

THE VERDICT

Like our first visit to Yabu, I was again satisfied with the restaurant's katsu offerings both portion-wise and taste-wise. Although I was confident the 2 of us can finish everything by ourselves, it turned out to be quite a struggle 'cause one set can already fill up one person. I was also glad that the dining space has been expanded. This way, there'll be enough tables and seats for hungry guests. In addition, I think the service have improved. Although the servers were very prompt in bringing out the orders even before, they now seem more friendly and less snooty. And lastly, thank you Yabu for the free meal!

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Yabu: House of Katsu, SM Megamall
2/F, SM Megamall The Atrium, Julia Vargas Ave.,
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 576-3900
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter

44 comments:

  1. OMG! Ang daming food with dessert pa. Hope to try Yabu talaga when I have the time. I think I'll go for the curry one.

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    1. I might not order the curry again on my next visit. Mas bet ko pa rin tonkatsu sets ng Yabu, as well as the Rosu Special Katsudon.. :)

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  2. My kind of place! Even the Chocolate Lava is calling me and tempting me, it's 11:41PM around here :/ Mean! lols. Kidding aside, take me there too, I think that's already the nth time I asked you to bring me with you on your food trips. ;)

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    1. And I think this is the nth time I'll tell you that I'll do that when you visit Manila~ haha.. :D Basta, let me know once you're planning to have a vacation here.. ;)

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    2. Oh, goodness! Ich hätte dieser Vorschlag gerne nehmen. ;)

      hihi, Anything japanese, makes me tick! Suki desu!

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  3. You two have big appetite Sumi. The edamame is a healthy appetizer. I've been reading nothing but raves on Yabu but can't go to Megamall yet. Sana they will have one in Trinoma.

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    1. That's one of my wishes too sis! Although I have the patience and energy to go to Megamall, it would be really nice if they'd open a branch in Trinoma :)

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  4. Ooh bonito flakes! I've never tried one before :3
    I saw how they are traditionally made in a Japanese drama (Osen) and wow they're serious work!

    Curry curry curry *cravings orz!*
    ooh this is in Megamall pala? OMG reading comprehension..hay
    Lapit lang~

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    1. Ah btw, Puwede mo bang i-tag kung sang mall or major area (katipunan, tomas morato etc.,) located yung restaurant? XD

      Para if we're on a certain place we can check your reviews first. You know how it is deciding where to eat on the spot...*STRESS!* haha

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    2. I've been thinking of doing that actually, classify my resto reviews per mall/area! ^^ It'll be quite tough to do though 'cause I already have 200+ posts, but you can count on me! I'll finish the tags, hopefully before the month ends :)

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  5. I'm in katsu heaven after seeing the photos.
    I only wish our SM would have more restaurants like these.

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  6. This makes me miss Yabu more!! AHHH ♥ Your food blog's definitely my favorite, Sumi! :) See you more often!

    Arnie Villanueva
    www.arnievillanueva.com

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  7. Congrats! I love Yabu. They really do serve the best tonkatsu and Rosu is always my choice. :)

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  8. Congrats sis Sumi! The chocolate Lava looooooks sooooo delicious! :))

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  9. My mouth watered. Ever since I have tried Yabu, I cannot forget how good the food there was. I have yet to go back but I really should go back soon. :D I should try the Rosu Katsu na as you recommended :D

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    1. Try the Rosu Katsu Set or even the Rosu Special Katsudon~ Both are my faves! ^^

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  10. My curiosity got bigger and bigger as I read through your post. I've been postponing my trip over there at their Megamall branch. But this review of yours makes me want to just rush over there and order their best katsu offering. :) Btw, congrats on the win. :)

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  11. Parang masarap yung chocolate Lava ah! ヅ


    http://fashionmoto.blogspot.com/

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  12. Everything looks mouthwatering Sumi! Nakakagutom :D

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  13. Grabe! Nakakagutom :p I want the Choco Lavvvaaaaa!

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  14. I was in SM Megamall today and I had my lunch over at Yabu. I will write a post about it soon!

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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  15. i admire your great appetite and i really enjoy the restaurant and the food you feature, it makes me hungry. just what i've been saying every now and then, this is another must try hihi

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  16. Nakakmiss nanaman ang Yabu sis... I love their rosu katsudon

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  17. I super love Yabu serving is huge worth every penny talaga, I love their tofu appetizer and the salmon tonkatsu is yummerz too!

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  18. Yummerz! I personally love the Tofu for appetizer. I also love the Salmon Katsu yummerz. I just recently blogged about them too. I will definitely come back!

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    1. I haven't tried their tofu appetizer yet, as well as the salmon katsu. Now, that's another reason to go back to Yabu! :)

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  19. i am excited about going back to Yabu again too

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  20. Chicken Katsu Curry is my favorite type of Chicken Curry. I should really try this place.

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  21. The food looks really yummy. My kids and I love Jap food too.

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  22. I am drooling. Yabu's carry never heard before but looks so oozing...

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  23. Wow, drool-worthy! I would love to visit this place too! Yummy photos, all your food photos make one almost lick the monitor haha!

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  24. Woah! I haven't tried the desserts yet. I should try it next time. :)

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  25. Seems they have a very delicious Katsu, Only Rai Rai Kens Katsu is my fave :D

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  26. Yabu is also my place to be since 2011. Hope I can take decent photos next time. I've been there 3x but always a camera phone on hand. :)

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  27. The mixed seafood katsu seems so inviting. And I also love potatoes...that potato salad is just perfect!

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  28. same here. i want to devour that seafoods katsu plate. but, all the katsu's look really crunchy :)

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  29. Nagutom nanaman ako. Ang dami foods! Khait it's raining I want Chocolate Lava! Lol.

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  30. I just saw Yabu in Megamall last night. Your post makes me want to have lunch there today :)

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  31. Kakagutom kahit kakatapos ko lang mag-lunch. hehehe.
    -daddy Allan (BC Blogger)

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  32. Sarap! You deserve the prize. They should give you GCs for this post. :D

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  33. wow tonkatsu, i am craving for one...

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  34. Love, love, LOVE Japanese food!!! And, the bottomless Lemonade! Yum!

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  35. been into this resto. two thumbs up!!! grabe sa sarap dito tlga!!!

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