FTF / Turning Japanese

12:00:00 AM

Authentic Japanese cuisine is very much intertwined with their culture of strict discipline. Their chefs go through great lengths to prepare even the simplest of meals – from the selection of ingredients to the cooking, all the way to the plating – no detail is left to chance. The process is very elaborate, and truth be told, there are not a lot of places in Manila that serve intricately-prepared, authentic Japanese dishes.

The real deal
Everyone's welcome!
This is what sets Yabu: The House of Katsu apart from its counterparts. They didn't try to imitate what something from Japan; they actually brought Japan here! The owners partnered with Chef Takeda Kazuya (of Tokyo's Tonkatsu Takeshin) and expert restaurateur Teiji Nakamura to give Filipinos a glimpse of what it's like to enjoy your katsu in downtown Tokyo.
Jumbo prawns. And I mean jumbo!
Yabu is the real deal, and that's why it's become a runaway hit. They focused on one thing, and one thing only - katsu - and that's why they're so good at it! I've tried almost all the items on the menu already, and they are all amazing. And I especially love the katsu ritual, where you get to make your own dipping sauce!
Mix, and then dip! :)
The condiment set - genius. :)
I'll never forget the first Yabu dish I ever ate, which remains my favorite to this day: the chicken katsudon. I got to try it before everybody else (won't say why or how), and immediately after that, I've been bugging people to try it. I'm quite the picky eater, so if I recommend something, it means I genuinely liked it.
Not your average rice bowl! :)
Juiciest. Chicken. EVER.
And they're not just selling food; they are offering an experience. The aroma of the miso soup tingles the patron's sense of smell, while the plating appeals to the sight. At first bite, the tongue is wowed by two very different textures - crispy breading covers meat so tender, it literally melts in the mouth.
Even the rice is inexplicably good!
Dining in Yabu is an absolute treat, and not just for the hungry stomach! When you walk in, you are welcomed by manga panels and sake cups on the walls. But I must say that the best thing about Yabu is its exemplary customer service; they take input from patrons very, very seriously. When they make mistakes, they make amends and they learn from it. They are setting the bar high for the food service industry.
Manga panels, drawn by Kriss Sison
Sake bottles
The Japanese version of the Great Wall - made of sake cups!
Yabu is all the rage in the blogosphere. :)
P.S. How cute are the staff shirts? They're the work of young graphic artist Kasey Albano. I actually have one, too - Keep Calm and Curry On - and I wear it to the gym a lot! :)
You gotta love those shirts!
(photo from Yabu's Facebook page, used with permission)
Yabu: The House of Katsu has two branches at the moment. One is on Level 2 of Mega Atrium in SM Megamall. The second one is in Robinson's Magnolia. They're opening the third branch in SM Mall of Asia very soon.


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)