Back at Yabu (House of Katsu) in Robinsons Magnolia
As you all know, the flight from Singapore to Manila takes a little more than 3 hours and when you're taking a budget airline with no entertainment to watch and to keep yourselves preoccupied, this can feel like forever. Paul and I, on the other hand, would make the most of the flight time to catch up on sleep, organize our thoughts (and our lives haha) and to talk.
During one of our flights home last year, we started making a list of the food and restaurants that we miss the most. Of course there's the usual Filipino treats that we love such as pichi-pichi and kakanin for him and pancit malabon for yours truly. Then our conversation moved on to restaurants. Putting all the new restaurants that we're both hoping to try someday aside, there are just some old ones that we miss very much. One of those is Yabu : House of Katsu.
Back when we were still based in Manila, Yabu has been our go-to place whenever we want to have a delicious plate of deep-fried katsudon and unlimited fill of veggies and rice. Ever since they opened their doors in 2011, ask us where's the best katsu in Manila and we'll definitely point you towards Yabu. That's just how much we both love it.
Despite our crazy schedules, we made it a point to have lunch at Yabu : House of Katsu in Robinsons Magnolia. As usual the place was packed and I believe this has always been the case for all these years. This alone is a good sign showing how yummy food is at Yabu.
Here's what we had for lunch:
I was a bit sad that they didn't have my favorite Japanese appetizer during this visit. Well, that sadness was quickly replaced with delight when I saw that they have a couple of new addition to their menu. The Mozzarella Katsu was really good! I love the perfect contrast of the creamy mozzarella cheese and the crunchy panko crust. Plus, it's served with some spicy aioli which will bring t that zing! to your every bite.
This is the perfect option for those abstaining from seafood this lent. Take a BIG bite of this humongous burger which comes with a thick, meaty deep-fried ebi patty topped with shredded cabbage, Japanese pickles and the same spicy aioli served with the Mozzarella Katsu earlier. This is Yabu's take of the ever-famous Fillet o Fish and I have to say that they are doing an amazing job!
Of course, what is a visit to Yabu without having their tonkatsu set, right? We had our favorite Kurobuta Pork Set which comes complete with rice, cabbage and soup. The cabbage and rice, I believe, are still refillable but we were both so stuffed that we hardly could even finish one bowl.
The slices of pork cutlets are so tender and delicious! I love dipping it into the sesame thick sauce before taking a careful bite. Even after all these years, Yabu still continues to serve the one of the best tonkatsu in town.
Naturally, I just can't live on meat alone. So, I also got a mixed seafood set which consists of salmon katsu, ebi fry, creamy crab and oyster. Similar to the Kurobuta Set, the Seafood Katsu Set also comes with miso soup, a bowl of Japanese rice and cabbage salad. My favorite has always been the creamy crab croquette which is so yummy! Sadly, they ran out of oysters so they added more ebi fry for us to enjoy.
It was a deep-fried feast and I highly recommend for you to pair this with a cup of Japanese hot tea to help have proper digestion. Yabu has remains to be one of our favorite restaurants in Manila and we're so happy that the food quality and service has remained consistent after all these years. We will surely be back.
Photos by Paul Ang
Yabu : House of Katsu is located at Lower Ground Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City. Call them at 961-4975.