Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yabu: Bed of Rosus

I wish I could just lie down on one of these.
A couple of weeks ago, we received a very pleasant surprise and a first for us: an invite to try the new dishes at Yabu. What?? Well, allow me to check my schedu... Of course! We are extremely honored that our opinions and pictures are read and appreciated in the first place, and it's Yabu, so we accepted at the drop of a hat.

Rosu 90g Set, P315.00
Served with unlimited Japanese white rice or organic brown rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, organic cabbage with your choice of dressing and a bowl of fruit.
I get into this in greater detail in our first review, but the side dishes are as great as always. It's a meal in itself! Unlimited cabbage with awesome sauces and wasabi, great unlimited Japanese rice or healthy brown rice, Japanese pickles and refillable miso soup. There's fruit too but I don't pay much attention to that. Haha. These perfectly accompany the main dishes.


3/4 inch-thick, juicy pork cutlet with a trimming of fat. Made with certified U.S. pork, for a softer, tastier dish.
I did a bit of research so I can maintain some semblance that I'm savvy about some things. Knowledge is power! Haha. So, there are two main kinds of tonkatsu pork: Hire,which is lean pork fillet that we don't care about right now, and Rosu, which is softer and more flavorful due to slightly fattier pork loin. Yabu's Rosu katsu is all high-quality 'Merican pork.

We just got the smallest size for this one in order to conserve stomach real estate, and it was still considerably large, so that was impressive. This may have been fatty, but as you can see, the fat is perfectly distributed across the meat so every bite is a good experience. One of my pet peeves when it comes to Tonkatsu (since I was in grade school) is that sometimes, the edges within the breading are just a thick, nasty layer of fat. No such problem here!

I may be losing some food reviewer street cred here, but I honestly did not notice much difference between this and the Kurobuta pork we tried last time. This was exactly as soft. Alvie pointed out that the Kurobuta has a richer pork taste, and I think I understand. I guess it doesn't make too much difference to me since I use a lot of the delicious katsu sauce anyway. At 315 pesos, this set has great value for money. My advice is if you want to savor the true flavor of the meat, go for Kurobuta. If you're not sensitive to that, go Rosu.

Another of many options for taste would be getting the Layu Sauce (P35) for some addictive, non-spicy, rich garlic chili oil to go with your pork.

Kirin, P95.00
This was recommended to me as a good companion to the Rosu pork and I'd say it was. A sip of Kirin then a bite of Rosu and it almost felt like Christmas. Truth be told though, I don't count myself as a beer drinker. I only drink when there's nothing else around and would take Tanduay Ice instead any day of the week. Just the same, Kirin had a very smooth taste and is a fair deal at 95 pesos. I found it to be a bit too bitter, which is what I don't like about beer anyway so don't take my word for it. :) It's also served in an ice-cold mug so that you don't need ice watering down your drink.

Kurobuta Miso Katsu Set, P580.00
Yabu's miso katsu is your choice of rosu, hire, or Kurobuta pork cutlet topped with sweet miso sauce, sprinkled generously with spring onions and ground sesame seeds, all served on a Japanese hot plate.
This is served with all the side dishes as the Rosu set above. Erika, our food guide for the day, recommended that we try the Kurobuta version and we were more than happy to. The Kurobuta meat did not fail and was as soft as ever, almost melting under every bite. The delicious pork taste was accentuated by the miso sauce that it had absorbed at the bottom. I liked the miso sauce, it was a subtler, sweeter, yet still-as-tangy version of the normal Katsu sauce. If you like the usual tonkatsu but prefer your dish with more moisture, this would be your ideal order.

Seafood Katsu Set 2, P545.00
Salmon, black tiger prawn, crab, oyster.
For our last dish, we deviated and indulged in the fruit of the seas, Yabu-style. As usual, all side dishes included. This is a bit much to talk about so let's tackle this one by one.
Salmon - This version of my favourite fish is something I might actually like more than the Rosus and Kurobutas. I'm not decided yet. :) What I'm sure of though, is that the salmon was really good. It is enveloped in the Katsu breading and yet, is not overcooked at all. It was very moist and juicy, seemingly only semi-cooked in texture.
Black Tiger Prawn - A Katsu Tempura. It was good, but did not really wow me. I would normally prefer the regular tempura because you get to savor the shrimp's feel more but I still enjoyed this for variety.

Crab on the left, Oyster on the right.
Crab - Creamy shredded fresh crab meat on the inside. It was good and because I have zero patience for digging out crab meat from its shell, this is one of the few opportunities I have to enjoy fresh crab meat.
Oyster - Fresh oyster pieces in Katsu were amazing. The oysters were very fresh and tasty, and quite addictive. It was malansa in a great way, so much so that no matter what sauce I dipped it in, the rich oyster taste just pierced through it all and went straight for the warm embrace of my taste buds.

Tonkatsu Sets
Miso Katsu Set

Rosu 90g Set: Very Good
Layu Sauce: Good
Kirin: Good
Kurobuta Miso Katsu Set: Good
Seafood Katsu Set 2: Very Good

That was quite a lot of food for the two of us! I was raised with a habit of not leaving food on my plate as much as possible and it's turning me into a glutton. Haha! A big thanks to Erika for introducing us to all these wonderful dishes, making us feel very welcome, the nice conversations, and not throwing us out when we amateurishly started snapping photos with our cellphones. We had a great time and this was a monumental occasion for us! :)

I liked Yabu after our first visit and now, I love it. I can't wait to visit again and try even more dishes. I've had my eye on the soft-shell crab for the longest time! I think we aren't even close to halfway through the many great offerings they have.

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

DISCLAIMER: This was an invitation, but all opinions and descriptions in this post are my own, except for the menu descriptions I sometimes place below the pictures in italics. ;)

Our First Visit:
Yabu: Enter Kurobota

The Rival:
Saboten: Enjoyin' Some Loin

Other Restaurants in SM Aura:
Sbarro: Rolling in the Deep Dish
SM Aura Premier: Pepper Lunch Express under the Sky Park

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
Órale!: The Best Quesadillas
Pancake House: Cookie Butter Pancakes Surprise
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
Seattle's Best: Sea Salt and Salad
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
Toast Box: Going Goreng
Tokyo Tokyo: Burgers and Chopsticks
The Cheese Steak Shop: Philly Cheese Steaks in the Phillyppines
The Kebab Factory: The TKF Trilogy
Uncle Cheffy: A Piece 'a Panizza
Wildflour's Cronut: The Doughnut and Croissant's Love Child
Wrong Ramen: The Weirder, The Better

5th Floor, SM Aura Premier,
McKinley Parkway corner 26th St.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Facebook: Yabu: House of Katsu

1 comment: