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20 September 2012

Catching the YABU Virus

It was not really my first time to eat tonkatsu. I am not a fan. For me tonkatsu is just okay. Just “another food” to eat. Nothing really special. But I have been hearing a lot about this almost one year old Katsu house in the country and lots of great reviews are everywhere. So imagine my happiness when my boss asked me and my officemate to eat out with him. Where else? In Yabu: House of Katsu. Of course, he paid for everything. Teehee. ;)

When we arrived at the restaurant, damn it was so full. We had to wait for like 15 minutes (glad it wasn’t that long as we were starving already) before we were asked to get inside and have a seat. The store is so bright which makes the atmosphere alive and uplifting, just right to temporarily escape the stress that you are having while working in your office. Everyone in the restaurant was talking and blabbering and laughing. The waiters were also very pleasing as they ask for your orders. It was the first time that I felt sincere warmth from a restaurant crew as opposed to the hostile (well, quite strong a word, huh) treatment of some other restaurants and especially fast food restos that I have tried. Maybe it was still early and they were not yet tired or they are simply trained that way. Whatever it is, it added to my wonderful experience with Yabu.

The first to arrive was a small, unusual bowl (which looks like a mortar) of white and brown sesame seeds with a pestle. The waitress asked us if it was our first time to eat. We said yes and she taught us how the “katsu ritual” was done for us to get the perfect katsu sauce that suits our taste. It was fun, indeed. You have to grind first the sesame seeds using the pestle and you will pour in the katsu sauce, the amont depends on your taste. And it tastes and smells great. Also at the table were six different spices and condiments that you may use to your liking.

Then came our orders. I ordered HIRE Katsudon which I pronounced as HAYR to the waitress and she repeated it as HEE-REH to my embarrassment. Hahaha. But she was smiling so I guess she understood that although I look perfect, I am not. CHAUSE! Haha. My boss was urging me to order the bestseller (which he did for himself) Kurobuta Pork Set but I declined because it was super pricey (PhP 515.00 for 90g / PhP 525 for 120g) and I don’t want to abuse his kindness that day. Aside from the pork tonkatsu, the orders came with unlimited cabbage, unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, pickles, and pineapple slices. I also ordered for a green mango shake.

HIRE KATSUDON PhP 335.00 (90g)

Green Mango Shake PhP 100.00

The food was heavenly. The cabbage tastes wonderful with the white dressing (I do not know how it is called haha, pardon me. It’s on the table anyway. Just look for it. Heehee). It’s crispy and fresh. And although it is unlimited, I only had one helping of it because I am not a big eater. :D The Japanese rice was so soft and white. It has sprinkles of black sesame seeds on top, probably to enhance the smell. And just like the cabbage, I only had one helping of it. (Gosh I won’t be a winner for an eating contest! A buffet businesses will surely earn a lot from me!) The tonkatsu is the star. The pork is tender, perfectly fried, crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. It does not taste oily and you won’t get tired of eating it. The katsu sauce goes well with the pork. In fact I wished I could have asked for more of it but I was too shy to do it. I never tasted the miso soup because I am not really a fan of soups. The pickles and pineapple were quite sour. But they should be anyway. And the green mango shake was smooth, a bit sour, yet refreshing. I got really full that I was thankful I did not ask for more helpings of cabbage and rice.

While we were eating, the restaurant manager kept on coming back to our table (and to the other tables as well) to ask us if we are enjoying our stay and the food and if there is anything more he could do. I appreciate it a lot. And the waitress assigned to us kept on asking as well if we want more rice, or more cabbage, or water. Indeed, they truly care for their customers. Maybe these are the reasons why their customers kept on coming back (my boss for instance, has told me he ate there 7 times in 2 months) and they have gone viral and famous online.

I observed that day that most of the customers of Yabu belong to the middle to upper class. I guess because the foods are quite pricey (but they are worth it!). I recommend people to try eating at Yabu. It is worth every penny you spend as the food and the service are both excellent you will not regret you’ve splurged once.

Tweets and blog posts of celebrities and famous bloggers 
posted on one of the corners

 They have two branches: one in Megamall atrium and one at Robinson’s Magnolia (where we ate).

And have I told you Yabu and I share the same birthday? Yes they opened last November 11, 2011.


*Sorry if my pictures are blurred. I forgot to bring my digital camera because it was not planned so I only used the camera from my phone. :)
Slán go foill!

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