The newest branch of Yabu: The House of Katsu has just opened its doors yesterday, August 27, 2013 at the second floor of The Block, SM City North EDSA. To celebrate this milestone, the first 100 guests were treated to a free Katsu set complete with bottomless drinks!
Yabu has been one of my favorite restaurants in the country ever since I first tried it about a week into the opening of its first branch at SM Megamall Atrium. Back then I didn’t know that I was in for a long-term gastronomic relationship, and I really thought that the pictures I posted when I first blogged about Yabu didn’t do any of the sumptuous food any justice. Now, six branches later (SM Megamall, Robinsons Magnolia, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Aura Premier, and SM City North EDSA), I thought of having an update.
I’m no Japanese language expert, but I think “Katsu” may roughly translate to “fried.” From Yabu it probably means “happiness.” 😀
I was really excited when I first saw a closed space with the word “Yabu” at The Block building of SM City North EDSA months ago as it would come much closer to my home. I was actually surprised that SM Aura Premier branch opened earlier than this branch, but my excitement never faded—and it even grew when I saw the store finally unveiled days before the opening. Then I received an even more exciting news:
Of course I will not miss this opportunity to once again dine in one of my favorite restaurants, the one that introduced me to the “real” Katsu and set my standards pretty high for that matter—most especially if it’s their treat! And as such, a “devious” plan was made, and I was quite lucky to have access to the mall even before the official operating hours resulting in:
Going back to what the real star of this post is, Yabu really lives up to its name of being “The House of Katsu” by serving arguably the best Katsu this side of the planet. Once you tried any of their Katsu, you’ll have a hard time to look for another of the same caliber. They can probably make a great Katsu practically out of anything edible!
I actually don’t eat pork that much and I admit I used to look down upon anything that’s fried, but Yabu changed my mind. Yabu is one of the few places that I actually enjoy eating pork, and just about anything fried, Katsu style of course. My early favorite was the Rosu (¾ inch thick porkloin) but since I do my best to avoid fat (which is quite difficult if it’s already served on your plate) nowadays I prefer the Hire (similarly ¾ inch thick but made with tenderloin) which is more lean and without the tempting fat. More recently Kurobuta, also known as the black Berkshire pig and dubbed the world’s finest pork, is also served.
Among my other favorites are the Mixed Katsu (which as the name implies is a set of different Katsu) and their Curry (also comes in different spice levels, the higher the better!). They also have some of the most unique appetizers around, and topping my list are the Wakame (sweet and juicy seaweed salad topped with ebiko, the round orange stuff that usually covers California Maki), Hiyayakko Tofu (in ponzu sauce sprinkled with bonito flakes), and the newly introduced Iidako Salad (or in layman’s terms, the one with the baby octopus :-P).
Yabu’s menu has considerably changed since their first branch so I can’t really tell which ones are new, but for me the best updates are the unlimited Miso soup (which I really love) and the bottomless brown rice option, adding to the unlimited Japanese rice and cabbage included with every Katsu Set. Each Katsu Set also includes fruits and vegetable sidings so each meal is quite balanced, although with all the unlimited items and great Katsu, dieting is practically impossible at Yabu. 🙂
I just can’t explain how happy (and stuffed!) I am every time I visit Yabu… So for your newest branch, Congratulations! Thank you very much as well for making me and 99 others happy with a very special and free meal! Looking forward to my next visit. 😀