Yabu: Trying the Katsu Craze

Have you ever noticed how Yabu sounds a lot like Yahoo? I bet if you catch a cold and say Yabuuuu, it’ll sound a lot like – oh well, never mind.

But I sure felt like yelling the former when we finally got our seats.Talk about long lines.

Yabu has its own version of interactive dining. They give you your own mortar and pestle, and you get to do grind your own sesame seeds. I suppose that means you’re basically in charge of your own sauce. I wonder what it would taste like if you don’t grind the sesame seeds at all, or if you grind it to finely. Hmmm…

What else is everyone raving about in Yabu? It’s unli-everything! That’s right, you get unlimited shredded cabbage, unlimited Japanese rice unlimited water, unlimited sauce, and unlimited dressing.

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Splatter some sesame, wasabi or soy vinaigrette dressing in your shredded cabbage.

Unfortunately, the viands weren’t unlimited at all. Le sigh. Was that really too much to ask?

Still, we fought our disappointed and ate with gusto anyway.

Yabu is surrounded by a lot of hype these days (and forevermore, who knows?) and as with all things hyped up, you encounter several problems, e.g.,

1. A Long Waiting Line
We actually arrived pretty early for dinner (around 7:00 pm) and it was already full. We had to wait two whole hours to get seated.

2.  A Really Crowded Dining Atmosphere

Personally, when my elbow touches another diner’s (who is a stranger, by the way), it’s not a good thing.

The staff was very friendly and courteous, though. I think that pretty much makes up for it. And of course, there’s the food.

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Grind, grind, grind. Pour. And Mix!

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Iidako Salad and Hiyayakko Tofu (Php190.00)

You can choose a combination of two appetizers for Php190.00.We got the Iidako Salad (Baby Octopus) and Hiyayakko Tofu.  I’ve always been wary of Octopus, just because I haven’t really eaten much of it. Also, tentacles are kind of creepy. But this was a pretty good octopus, especially as an appetizer. It was a little chewy but had a lot of flavor in it. The tofu was good too. It was firm and the sauce had just the right amount of sweetness in it.

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Menchu Katsu Set (Php 350.00)
A delicious mix of minced premium beef and pork covered in crunchy panko filled with oozing creamy cheese (from the Yabu Menu).

The Menchi Katsu was very yummy. The cheese inside it made it even more so. It was moist but fried to perfection. I love a good crunch in a Katsu.

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Salmon Set (Php475.00)

We also enjoyed the the Salmon Katsu. We were always used to chicken or pork Katsu so this was a must-try. Like the previous dish, the fry was great. Although we may have been used to rarer salmon meat (by rare, I mean, sashimi-like, haha!), there were times when this tasted kind of dry. Still, it’s a pretty good dish.

Since almost everything is unlimited, we got pretty full. For that alone, the price is already worth it. Yabu is definitely a place to visit. But I would suggest you go there early and make a reservation. Especially if you’re allergic to waiting.

Yabu: The House of Katsu has branches at SM Megamall, Robinsons Magnolia, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, and SM Aura Premier.

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