Monday, 20 August 2012

Spices: Yabu

Whenever I dine in a Japanese resto, the last thing that I would think of ordering is Tonkatsu. I'm not much a big fan of the panko crusted pork cutlet because it basically looks and taste the same in every Japanese resto that I've been to. But after dining in Yabu, I didn't see the humble and ordinary Tonkatsu the same way before.

I've heard and read great raves about Yabu, no wonder they have expanded in just a short period of time. The place looks clean, simple and inviting. Bottles of Sake are displayed on top of the shelves around the working area. On the table are neat looking condiments containers that holds the Katsu sauce, Himalayan Salt and the two dressing for the shredded cabbage.

Sake Bottles

On the Table

An aromatic bowl of toasted sesame seeds were placed in front of us. There were pictues on the menu to grind, pour, mix and dip. This would serve as the dipping sauce for the fried meat cutlets.

Grind the Sesame Seeds

Pour and Mix the Sauce with the Sesame Seeds


The first page of the menu shows why Yabu is not an ordinary Katsuretu restaurant. It showed the right way of how Tonkatsu should be made and prepared. A really nice touch.

Printed on the Menu: The Yabu Difference

There were different types of Katsuretu Sets to choose from and each dish was served with Miso soup, Japanese rice, sliced fruits and shredded cabbage.  You can have unlimited refills with the rice and cabbage.

A Katsuretsu Set

There were two kinds of dressing for the shredded cabbage. The Goma Mayonaise and the Ponzu Vinaigrette. Both sauces were really nice but my favorite would be the Ponzu Vinaigrette.

Two Kinds of Dressing for the Cabbage

For our appetizers, we wanted to try the seaweed salad but it wasn't available. We ended up ordering the Edamame and Hiyayakko Tofu. Edamame is young green soybeans, the simple dish is boiled and you have to add a little salt to the greens. Break open the pod and pop in a bean into your mouth. The Hiyayakko Tofu was doused with Ponzu Sauce and topped with Bonito flakes. Simple and yummy.

Hiyayakko Tofu and Edamame - Php195

I got to try two different Sake. I'm still not familiar with differentiating between Sake but both tasted way better than the supermarket variety which were sold in cartons and smaller bottles. The sake was subtly sweet and smooth, I barely noticed the alcohol after taste. It was served in a cool looking Carafe with an ice packet so as not to dilute the Sake.

Ozeki Yamada Nishiki - Php335

As a general rule and etiquette with drinking Sake, one should never pour his own drink.

Shochikubai Fushimi - Php335

I've got to taste the following Katsu sets:

The Salmon Katsu had four huge chunks of perfectly cooked pinkish Salmon. Divine!

Salmon Set - Php435

Perfectly Cooked Salmon

The Hire and Seafood Katsu Set consists of Hire or pork loin without fat trimming, Tiger Prawn, Dory, Scallop, Eggplant and Green Bell Pepper. The pork loin was tender and both the scallop, dory had the buttery melt in your mouth feel, the vegetables were nice and crunchy.

Hire and Seafood Katsu Set - Php475
Hire Katsu

Dory Katsu

We felt that the Tempura was slightly over-coated with the batter. The shrimp was cut in half then split lengthwise thus rendering the meat to be a little thin inside. I suggest that they don't split the prawn or they can lessen the batter instead. But nonetheless, the whole set was great and for it's price, this was a steal.


If I would describe Japanese Curry, it would be simple, warm and hearty. The Rosu Katsu Curry delivered what I expected it to be. The Rosu or pork loin with fat trimming was tender and crunchy, I really like that they didn't doused the whole piece of meat with the curry sauce. You can choose the spiciness level for the curry, from mild to extra hot. Since I love spicy food, I chose the spiciest but as I expected it wasn't spicy enough for me. Adding drops of the chili oil did the trick.

Rosu Katsu Curry with Egg Set - Php330 plus Php20 for the Egg

Rosu Katsu Curry with Egg

The signature dish for this resto would be the Premium Tonkatsu Set. The Tonkatsu was made using Kurobuta Pork, also known as the Wagyu of Pork. Since it's not my first time to enjoy eating this kind of pork, I kind of knew what to expect. Cooking this kind of meat can be tricky but Yabu nail it down  with flying colors. It was so moist, juicy and tender. Delicious and Truly addicting!

Premium Tonkatsu Set (120grams) - Php575

Kurobuta Pork

I thoroughly enjoyed the food in Yabu, no wonder people are raving about this place. The resto is a perfect example of the phrase, 'turning something ordinary into something extraordinary'.

Address: 2nd Floor, Atrium, Megamall
Tel No: 576 - 3900


  1. That kurobota tonkatsu looks awesome, gotta to try this soon!

    1. hi dude! you should give it a try. great stuff!