Late last week, while out on errands, hurrying to get things from Megamall, H and I decided to try out the new Japanese restaurant which has caught quite a buzz: Yabu.
It’s basically a tonkatsu place—the menu’s simple and straightforward: tonkatsu pork, chicken, seafood. Not too many on the menu, which works for me—I tend to distrust places with so many items on the list, surely, they cannot do everything that well?
Yabu serves a menu around tonkatsu, that fried, breaded piece of protein we all are too familiar of as every single Japanese resto serves it. But as in most things in life, god is in the details. That and service.
The tonkatsu dipping sauce: freshly roasted sesame seeds to grind which you add the soy-based sauce to.
Favorite no.1: edamame with a dash of salt
H has been to Japan enough times to know if the tonkatsu (and all its accoutrements) is ‘authentic’, meaning, if it was at least similar to what he had while he was there.
His kurobota (the ‘wagyu’ of pork, allegedly) tonkatsu set (Php515) came with miso soup, Japanese rice, pickles, a dollop of fresh wasabi unlimited cabbage and slices of fresh fruit.
I ordered their katsu-curry or rosu-curry set (Php 295) for variety, and it was spot-on! (Although I wish there were more potatoes and carrots in there). The pork was really super tender (as promised), and the crust, crunchy and light! I also like that it was not too greasy—they use canola oil. Our enthusiastic and friendly server even gave me extra curry sauce for free!
Favorite no.2: Shredded cabbage+sesame dressing. Insane.
The sets come with iced/hot house tea as well which I find very refreshing..brewed with no sugar, just the way I like it! It’s not fast food iced sugar tea. I had two tall glasses. And I finished that BOWL of cabbage. My gad.
The service was casual, unfussy/unpretentious and friendly, they were attentive and helpful and jolly! Like it was such joy for them to be serving you good food (and good, it definitely was!). I cannot say this for all restaurants, so yes, it was a great dining experience.
Overall, if you’ve had tonkatsu and you order it regularly, you HAVE TO try Yabu. It’s as authentic as it can get, and it’ll change the way you look at that humble fried concoction!
Lastly, allow me to brag just this once. H is away this week (hence no Valentine’s for me) to join this show in New York:
Logo and poster from printliberation.tumblr.com.
So while I’m lonely he’s away, I’m mighty proud of him! Enjoy your Valentine’s! 🙂