Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saboten: Enjoyin' Some Loin

So, the new craze in Manila is Tonkatsu, huh? Move over, Ramen! Still quite a Japanese trend. I hope Sushi is next!

Everyone's going Katsu crazy.
Saboten is a Tonkatsu chain that has its roots in 1966 Japan, so it carries a hefty heritage. Some say the local competition, Yabu, preempted Saboten's arrival, and now it seems we have a war on our hands. I can't wait to try Yabu and see if it's as good.

Though we aren't fans of venturing too far for lunch, Alvie and I couldn't resist when we heard our office friends were making the journey to Serendra to try this place out. Our Tonkatsu tasting is so overdue, we haven't even tried Yabu! (So no comparisons yet, sorry!)

I'm actually more of a Katsudon (Tonkatsu on rice with egg and a lighter, sweeter sauce) guy me-self, but okay, I'll see what the big deal is. I don't think I have ever had quality Tonkatsu before.

Cold and hot service tea.
Service tea is immediately available. I naturally opted for the colder kind (I can never understand how people can enjoy hot beverages while eating!). No surprise that the tea is better served hot, but hey, better than water, I guess. Haha.

Cool set of condiments.
We noticed (and did not immediately understand) the plethora of strange condiments made available to you. There's the ever fancy yet indistinguishable sea salt, a delicious vinegar type sauce, Tonkatsu sauce and a sesame cream sauce that goes great with your unlimited cabbage. Speaking of which...

Cabbage, Radish, and Pickles.
These are the side dishes that come for free when you order one of Saboten's set meals. They're all unlimited! The cabbage was really good with the sauce. We had seconds and we had thirds! The radish and pickles instill more variety in your meal.

Grated Radish Katsu (Loin Set), P395.00
Grated Radish with grapefruit turns tonkatsu into a refreshing delight.
Alvie and I were quite full from our Cronut conquest earlier in the day, so we just shared this meal and ordered an extra cup of rice (P100). The soup it came with was good, standard Miso soup. Not bad at all for something unlimited. The Tonkatsu was delicious. As explained by the waitress, you squeeze the grapefruit, then pour the Ponzu sauce on the meat. It turned out quite good!

If I had one regret, it's that we didn't order the leaner Tenderloin version. This meat was nice and thick, but I'm not fond of fat in my Tonkatsu. We were warned that the Loin had fat but I guess I assumed it was the more graceful kind (not thick).

Meaty and tender.
Nevertheless, it was still very enjoyable. If it came with regular unlimited rice, I'd easily give this set meal a "Good" rating. It didn't. It comes with awesome unlimited Japanese rice. It was so good that even with no meat left, I ate a cup with just radish shavings and Tonkatsu sauce. Sad, I know, but with rice like this, it was still great! I'm not big on plain white rice, so I'm surprised that this is one of the best parts of my meal.

Grated Radish Katsu
Katsu Curry, Clay Pot

Grated Radish Katsu (Loin Set): Very Good

Even a week after, I'm still thinking about the damn good rice! Oh, and the pleasant variety of good side dishes spice things up nicely too. I look forward to coming back for more unlimited Japanese rice goodness, and trying out more of their many other tempting offerings. Maybe we should try the competition, too!

Love Saboten? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

Other Restaurants in The Fort:
Good Earth Roasts (GER)
Gyu-Kaku: The Time is Ripe to Grill Some Tripe
IHOP: The Latest Pancake Craze
Jollibee: Ultimate Burger Steak and Flip Float
Kasbah: A Moroccan Lunch
The Best Pasta of Pasto
Racks: My Favourite Ribs
Red Garlic Bistro: Trotting the Globe, Clove by Clove
S&R: My Favourite Pizza
Saint's Alp: Taiwanese Chicken Goodness
Sbarro: Rolling in the Deep Dish
SM Aura Premier: Pepper Lunch Express under the Sky Park
Stacy's: The Sweet Kind of Retro
Stella Wood Fired Bistro: Nothing Less Than Stellar
Sunshine Kitchen: Second Dawn
Tapeo: Spanish Surprise at the Fort Strip
The Cheese Steak Shop: Philly Cheese Steaks in the Phillyppines
Toast Box: Going Goreng
Tokyo Tokyo: Burgers and Chopsticks
The Kebab Factory: The TKF Trilogy
Wildflour's Cronut: The Doughnut and Croissant's Love Child
Wrong Ramen: The Weirder, The Better

G/F Serendra, McKinley Parkway
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
(02) 625-2000
Operating Hours: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Facebook: Saboten Philippines

View Larger Map


Post a Comment