When my best friend called me for an emergency best friend meeting (read: a rescue girl talk of sorts), I had to oblige. There was no way in the world you decline your best friend when she’s in need, and in fact, I probably needed someone to talk with as well. When it was finally time to decide where to eat, we agreed to have dinner at Yabu, The House of Katsu at SM Megamall.
I’ve shied away from trying Yabu for the longest time because of the price. As you know, I’m very frugal and I’m happier putting my money on things that last, such as investments. So when my best friend decided to eat at Yabu, my poor wallet was probably terrified. It’s not that I don’t have money, but eating fancy does not place high on my list of priorities. Yet again, I had to oblige.
Despite the price of the dishes on their menu, at 7 in the evening, the place was full of hungry diners. I also found out that last year, Yabu was named by Esquire as one of the Best Restaurants of 2012 with Dish of the Year. At this point, I was intrigued. It was high time that I try this restaurant for myself, and this was the push that I needed.
For a meat-lover such as myself, everything in the menu seemed attractive. There were so many dishes to try! But I had to settle for the Menchi Set, and Lynette, my best friend, went with the Rosu and Hire Tonkatsu Set.
Lynette and I had a lot to talk about that day, but being hungry after a long day’s work, we noticed that the food is taking longer than it’s supposed to. The staff apologized for taking a while with the food. However, I read from Yabu’s website just now that if the food is not served in twenty minutes, it is free of charge! I felt cheated! We waited for more than twenty minutes for our food, and they did not inform us of this policy, so we paid for our meal. There was no attempt to make it up to us for the inconvenience of waiting longer than usual.
Other than waiting a long time for the food to be served, I cannot find anything else to complain about. The staff were very accommodating, and offered refills from time to time. They even checked up on us regularly to ask how our meal was, and if we’re having a great time.
What made me order the Menchi Set in a heartbeat was that it was stuffed with creamy cheese! Not to mention, it was a mix of premium pork and beef. There was absolutely nothing in this dish that could make me resist wanting it.
Little known fact #1: Yabu makes their own Panko (aka Japanese breadcrumbs) everyday, that’s why it’s fresh, light, and crispy.
Little known fact #2: Yabu “cutsu” (bad pun!) their Katsu thick, and makes sure it’s not less than 0.5 inches.
The golden crisp of the panko on the katsu will definitely draw you in. They use canola oil, rich in omega 3 and without trans fat and cholesterol, to fry the meat. I did not find their Katsu oily at all!
Since everything was unlimited, we had our second serving of miso, sliced cabbage, rice and fruits. All of these come with the meals.
For our katsu sauce, we had our sesame seeds ground and prepared by the attendant. I went a little crazy with the katsu sauce because it went perfectly with the katsu. I did add some chili powder to it to add some spice, just the way I liked it.
I know I tell you every chance I get that I refrain from eating rice, but the Koshihikari rice was just so irresistible. I consumed one and a half bowls of rice that night, and I don’t regret anything!
Despite the “working girlfriends” meeting up to talk about relationship woes and what-nots, plus troubles that we’ve had in the past weeks since we last met, everything was made all better by a hearty meal of awesome meat and unli-everything (almost). Yabu could definitely be my next happy place, a refuge when I’m sad, to make me all well with a happy tummy filled with good food. Yes, the price is steep, and it’s not some place you can eat at everyday. But when the occasion calls for it, its definitely the place to be. -HANA
Yabu House of Katsu has four branches located at SM Megamall, SM MOA, Robinsons Magnolia, and SM Southmall.