Saboten Philippines in Glorietta 5

I know that the tonkatsu craze has been present in Manila for a good 2 years already yet it seems like this is one craze that will stay on for a little while longer.

Why do I say so?

Well, it takes no genius to see the long lines that happens on a daily basis and the continuous entrance of foreign tonkatsu players ready to give the local market more options and perhaps to go up against the tonkatsu giant in the Philippines.

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Saboten is one of those that recently expanded to the Philippines not so long ago. The first time I tried Saboten was in Seoul, Korea but sadly my experience there was quite blah so I didn't even bother blogging about it. Then, I've been seeing Saboten in Hong Kong and here in Singapore but it has never been a priority for me to try it thinking that I might get the same ho-hum dining experience. However, during one recent trip back to Manila, Paul and I found ourselves in Saboten in the (relatively) new Glorietta 5 with my bestest friends T1, T2 and E. Guess, it was time to give Saboten a second chance.

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Looking at the menu, I feel that the line-up is most extensive compared to the ones we saw in Korea. We started with the Chicken Salad with Bang Bang Ji Dressing. The name of the dressing sounds like a K-Pop group and I'm so glad that it tasted quite good pretty much like our favorite Japanese sesame dressing. Nothing like starting your meal with some fresh greens! It's a simple combination of lettuce, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes and shreds of chicken fillet. Actually, it's something we can put together at home but well why not just enjoy the luxury of having someone do it for you for a change, right?

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We also tried the Pork Loin Karaage which was yummy! The pork was so tender and while it was deep-fried, it wasn't very greasy too. At this point, T2 hasn't arrived yet and we all fought the urge not to finish it as we wanted her to try it too. See how much we love one another? ♥

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Now, on to our main course. Paul zeroed in on the Curry Tenderloin Set as he's a big fan of Japanese curry. The difference between Tenderloin and Loin is the amount of fat present, the Tenderloin is leaner compared to the Loin which has a thicker strip of fat. Going back to Paul's Curry Set, he liked the slightly spicy - slightly sweet curry sauce that covered half of his crunchy deep-fried tenderloin tonkatsu. Each set comes with unlimited refill of cabbage, soup and rice. We all loved the cabbage with two complimentary dressings that at some point I've lost count how many times the five of us have asked for a refill.

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While Paul enjoyed his Curry Tenderloin Set, I went for the Clay Pot Tenderloin Set which looks like a Katsudon only the rice isn't served together with the tonkatsu. As you all know, Katsudon is my favorite Japanese donburi so I was immediately drawn towards this when I saw it on the menu. Oh those photos on the menu just looks soooo mouthwatering! Deep-fried Tenderloin Katsudon served on a sizzling plate and topped with fluffy egg and spring onions. So delicious!

Well, who would have thought that our second visit to Saboten would make all the difference? Save for the funny "corkage rule" that they had about slicing your birthday cake in store even if they don't have any whole cakes available, our experience this time at Saboten Philippines truly made up for the blah one that we had in Korea. I guess, enjoying this with my bestest friends mattered too.

Check out Saboten at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 5, Office Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City. Call them at 625-0909. They also have a branch in Serendra in Bonifacio Global City.

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