Ever since all of the blog hype happened around the Japanese restaurant Yabu: The House of Katsu, I have wanted to try it out. However, due to time constraints, unfulfilled promises and unexpected emergencies towards the end of 2011, I was never able to.
Fortunately, their invitation - courtesy of Ms Isay (thank you!) - to try out their delicious food never expired and this 2012, I was finally able to make my way over to Megamall to try out their famous katsu. I also brought Lloyd, "The Lost Boy" with me. :)
Yabu: The House of Katsu is located on the 2nd Floor of SM Megamall's Mega Atrium.
I actually got there during lunchtime to check it out and there was an insane line of people waiting outside. This just goes to show how famous and how delicious the food at Yabu really is.
The line and the amount of people in the restaurant itself dwindled by the time we left, though, which was around 4:30pm. That would probably be the quietest time for you to go, though waiting in line would still be worth the wait. :)
While waiting for our food to arrive, we were given a mortar and pestle and some sesame seeds to grind - and this was definitely my favorite part! :) Mostly because it reminded me of when I used to pretend I was a Charmed sister (I was Phoebe!) and created love potions to make boys fall in love with me. :p ...come to think of it, those potions never worked. :(
Anyway... all you have to do is grind the sesame seeds to a complete pulp and add the katsu sauce! :) Not sure if he'll admit it, but as you can see above, Lloyd enjoyed
pretending to be a Charmed sister making his katsu sauce, too! :)
Voila! Just like magic! :)
For our appetizers, we chose the tofu and the potato salad. I'm a sucker for tofu. And potato salad.
For the main course, Lloyd chose one of the Tonkatsu sets.
As for me... Well, since there was so much hype going on around the chicken katsu set, I decided to get that. I got the smallest possible portion, though... coz I'm perpetually on a diet like that. :p
The chicken katsu set is served with Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, and unlimited cabbage for veggie lovers like moi. Overall, I must say that the Yabu chicken meat was so juicy, thick and perfectly cooked that I actually regretted getting the smallest possible portion of it. :( Totally worth it!
The interiors of Yabu are pretty casual and minimalistic. However, it still brings off a modern and fun vibe, thanks to the anime comic stripes that they have on one of the walls:
Although their tables are quite small and you can almost bump shoulders with the people on the tables next to you, their food totally makes up for it, and, their brown leather chairs are very comfortable, too.
They even have bag hangers under the table! (Haha. Sorry. I'm easy to please!)
As for the service... well, it was impeccable! Everyone was so friendly and answered all of our noob questions ("How does this katsu sauce thing work?", "What sauce do we use for the salad?", etc.) without laughing at us or making us feel like noobs... though we totally were. :p
In fact, I bet if we asked, we would've found out that the yellow sauce thing wasn't actually mango sauce, but spicy mustard. Haha. Unfortunately, someone had to find that out the hard way. :p Ahem.
Overall, you will really be able to tell the difference when you have Yabu katsu because the katsu is crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. You might actually be surprised how easy it is to slice it with your chopsticks.