Yabu: Revisiting the House of Katsu

It's been quite a while since I've last paid a trip to Yabu: House of Katsu, so when I received an invitation from Ms. Erika to try out the most recent additions to Yabu's roster of excellent katsus, I just couldn't say no. I mean, after trying it out before and falling in love with Yabu, just who in their right minds would decline to a gracious offer like this?
Yabu House of Katsu Megamall

So with my (elder) sister in tow, we visited Yabu: House of Katsu in SM Megamall. I don't frequent this particular SM mall so it was really nice to be back. It brought back memories of when I first got to try out Yabu, as well as the time I won a free meal from the House of Katsu. Since my last visit, I didn't seem to notice anything different. The place was still inviting and donned with amusing manga (Japanese comics), and there's still my favorite creative wall intricately made up of masu cups (used for drinking sake).

Yabu House of Katsu Sauce
The Yabu sauce ritual -- Grind. Pour. Mix. Dip.
When in Yabu, you first start with making the famous Yabu sauce. The staff will be giving you some sesame seeds which you'll have to grind first to release more of its flavor and aroma. When you're happy with your ground sesame seeds, pour some Bulldog brand tonkatsu sauce and mix. I wasn't able to take a photo of the dipping part, but I assure you, my katsu for that night had plenty of actual experience. *wink*

Menchi Katsu Set (P350)

There are basically 2 new items at Yabu. The first one is the Menchi Katsu which comes as a set in typical Yabu fashion, alongside unlimited steamed Japanese rice, some pickles, a bowl of miso soup, unlimited cabbage salad and a bowl of sliced fruits.

Menchi Katsu Set P350

Menchi Katsu which is an authentic Japanese minced meat katsu dish, is made from superior ground beef and pork, mixed with Yabu's special spices and stuffed with creamy cheese. So far, I've read several reviews raving about this new item. And after taking a mouthful, I can say that I couldn't agree more!

Menchi Katsu

Though I'm not typically a fan of ground meat, I can't say the same with Yabu's Menchi Katsu. When cooked with high quality ingredients and done right, a simple ground meat dish can taste so amazing. The meat was just so soft, so flavorful, so succulent, and encased in a crispy katsu breading. And while I'm already satisfied with just the breaded meat, the cheese makes it all the more enjoying. Just imagine the creamy cheese oozing out when you bite through the Menchi Katsu. Now, that's just total food porn!

Menchi Katsu Curry (P370)

The plain Menchi Katsu is already very satisfying and definitely far from being a plain Jane. But for curry lovers, the Menchi Katsu can come in a curry set served with potatoes, carrots and curry sauce atop a serving of steaming Japanese rice.

Menchi Katsu Curry P370

Like the usual sets at Yabu, this Menchi Katsu Curry comes with some Japanese pickles, a bowl of miso soup, a serving of unlimited cabbage salad and a bowl of sliced fruits on the side. I'm not sure if the rice is also unlimited, but personally, I don't think I'll be needing more rice since what's on the katsu curry bowl is already more than enough.

Menchi Katsu Curry

I can't remember anymore if we were asked this the first time we had curry at Yabu. But this time, I definitely won't forget that the server inquired of our spiciness preference. We had it moderately spicy, by the way. And while I didn't personally get to taste this item since this was my sister's order, I can see that she was really happy with what she got. Of course, how can anyone not be happy with the juicy and cheesy Menchi Katsu?

Soft Shell Crab Set (P480)

Another new addition to Yabu's menu is the Soft Shell Crab Katsu which also comes in a set served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage salad with sesame dressing, and some watermelon and pineapple slices.

Soft Shell Crab Set P480

Ms. Erika apologized that the soft shell crabs this time weren't big enough, but actually, they're already quite big for me since I'm used to eating even smaller soft shell crabs. Anyway, since we're in the House of Katsu, these seafood treats were also coated with fresh panko then fried to a crisp, and served with Yabu's ponzu and layu sauce.

Soft Shell Crab Katsu

Since I'm a sucker for seafood, I immediately loved the Soft Shell Crab Katsu. It was crunchy, juicy and oozing with crab flavor. And when dipped in the ponzu sauce, it becomes more brightly-flavored and all the more enjoying. However, if I have to choose between the 2 new Yabu items -- the Soft Shell Crab Katsu and the Menchi Katsu, as much as I hate to admit it (sorry seafood) but my heart and palate belongs to the latter.

Again, thank you Ms. Erika for inviting me to try these new Yabu additions. We really enjoyed the food, and thanks to you I discovered another favorite at Yabu.

Yabu Mall of Asia
Yabu at SM Mall of Asia
I'm not the type who goes back to the same restaurant right away. But since this is technically not the same restaurant... Nah, it just so happens that the beau and I already planned visiting the new Yabu at SM Mall of Asia, so here's another Yabu adventure.

Hyayakko Tofu Potato Salad
Hyayakko Tofu and Potato Salad
For this trip, we started off with the Duo of Appetizers (P195) where you can choose any 2 out of their 4 items. We had the Hyayakko Tofu and my favorite Potato Salad this time. And oh, now I've officially tried all 4 appetizers, so hurrah! (This would've been easy if I didn't always get the potato salad and wakame. But I can't help it!)

Kurobuta Pork Set 90g P515 120g P575

I told the beau how good the Menchi Katsu was so we ended up ordering it, as well as the Kurobuta Pork Set (90g P515; 120g P575) which I've always wanted to try but can't get myself to order it every time for some reason. This time, I finally did and I was actually really excited to get a taste of what's also known as the Black Berkshire pig, the world's finest pork and the kobe beef equivalent in the pork world.

Kurobuta Pork

We had the 120g serving since we were starving that afternoon. Initially, I planned to consume the whole Kurobuta Pork Katsu myself. But since I wanted to have some pieces of Menchi Katsu, I had to share. Haha! Anyway, the Kurobuta Pork Katsu definitely lived up to my expectation. It was super tender, super succulent and just oozes out with flavor compared to the usual rosu or hire serving. However, since I really love the Menchi Katsu, I'm actually torn. I think this is a good sign though.

THE VERDICT

Just like my first and second visit to Yabu: House of Katsu, my recent third and fourth one left me with nothing but good vibes. As expected, the food was excellent, service was courteous and prompt, and the ambiance fun yet very welcoming at the same time. Overall, I enjoyed both trips to Yabu's SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia branches, both with my sister and with the beau, and I can't wait to be back at Yabu's doorstep yet again.

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Yabu: House of Katsu, SM Megamall
2/F, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave.
Mandaluyong City
(02) 576-3900

Yabu: House of Katsu, SM Mall of Asia
2/F SM Mall of Asia, Main Mall Atrium, South Arcade, Pacific Dr.
Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay City
(02) 511-7202
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter

42 comments:

  1. I just went to Yabu last week but now I miss it again! :)


    http://www.dekaphobe.com

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  2. I saw thiiisss :) I wanna eat here pag sweldo na at pag ma regular na ako. hehehehehe :D

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  3. Oh I haven't tried the soft shell crab katsu yet! Looks yummy!

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  4. The food looks yummy. But I hope there's one in Cebu :)

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  5. I'd love to try Katsu Curry. Looks tasty. :)

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  6. curry katsu is my husbands fave!!! i love everything though!! would love to try this one day at yabu! xx

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  7. Katsu curry is one of my favorite japanese dish ♥ It is very heavy in the stomach. ♥

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  8. Oh I love Yabu! No wonder people who ate at Yabu had this Yabu Hangover! It's like you want to live there forever and you want to eat there over and over again :)

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  9. Actually tried once there, Chicken Katsu, First taste was, It was Just ordinary, I dont know yet their other foods though. Anyway, Their rice is superb!

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    1. If you'll eat at Yabu again, try their Menchi Katsu or Rosu or even Kurobuta :) I won't be trying their chicken 'cause there's really nothing extraordinary about breaded chicken ^^

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  10. Tried this and I feel inlove! Will surely go back :)

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  11. Yabu is heaven. Will gladly go back anytime

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  12. i <3 your choices on places to eat! and your choise of food are good also..=)

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  13. Wow! It's definitely something to look forward to and you get filled and satisfied for what you paid for..

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  14. The Menchu Katsu set is like calling me for lunch. :D When I first heard about Yabu, I thought their meals were a bit pricey for katsu, but now looking at the inclusions, and the serving size - it looks like it's worth the price, and worth a try definitely! :)

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  15. I just love Yabu. I love the salad and the extras that come with the meal. the service is really good

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  16. We have been here once but we would love to go back! Love the food! :)

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  17. We just ate there last sunday. I let the family try the menchi and soft shell crab katsu. My picky sister loved the menchi katsu. The kurobuta is still worth craving for. But, we all agreed that the rosu katsu was now pale in comparison to the other 3 though.

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  18. I want to try it again!

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  19. Condiments and 'sawsawan' is a Filipino way of life...eating-wise. I like the idea of making your own sauce here. Something you can do while waiting for your food to arrive or during that lull time. Hihi

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  20. wish i could try yabu,the food looks delicious!

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  21. Wanna go back at yau. the first time we ate at yabu we were impressed. their food especially the Yabu's Menchi Katsu very delicious! and they have excellent customer service!!

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  22. Havent tried Yabu but the dishes looks so delicious. Were planning to visit them before the end of this month.

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  23. i wnat to go back to yabu!i love their katsu and the place was clean and nice

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  24. I havent tried this yet but i would love to have seafoods!

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  25. I really love their Yabu sauce!!! thanks for this wonderful blog.

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  26. I would love to try Menchi Katsu Set, Menchi Katsu Curry, Soft Shell Crab Set and Potato Salad. I'm a big fan of crabs so I would really try that crab set <3 More powers!

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  27. Can't wait to try the Menchi Katsu and Kurobuta Pork Katsu

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  28. Sarap bumalik dito! Yumm yum yum! The best! I love your reviews. Keep it up! :)

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  29. I want to see u again yabu!

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  30. Bulldog brand tonkatsu sauce eh? Now going to the supermarket! :))

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  31. have you heard about katsu cafe, they offer similar dishes at a reasonable price

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  32. I just tried Yabu! and I can say that I love the total meal they are offering, from salad, soup, main dish till dessert! I ordered Ebi and Fish Katsudon and I am very happy with the manager's suggestion! You should try it too! I will try the menchi katsu curry when I come back :)

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  33. Loved the food here! Quite expensive for a tonkatsu, but still worth it with those savory spices and breadings!

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