Nuffnang

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

YABU: KATSU FOR 25 ? YES, PLEASE!



       A couple of months back, I wrote about my enjoyable experience at Yabu: the House of Katsu, which became one of my more popular posts. The booth we were sitting at had a picture on the wall of an anime boy foodgasming to a bowl of yummy Katsu. Rina thought it would be funny if i copied the pose of the boy. Me, being the obedient (not to mention) guillible husband i am, gamely did the pose.. not knowing months later, that picture would come back to haunt me..

     I was invited by the good people behind Yabu: House of Katsu to their event entitled "Katsu for 25: An Exclusive Dinner for the most influential Bloggers, Personalities and Tastemakers". When I got the email from Denise, Yabu's Brand Manager, I thought it was a wrong send. When I realized it wasn't a fluke, I was deeply flattered that my blog would be mentioned in the same breath as some of most prominent names in the blogging world.  




     I was stoked to find out that three Food bloggers that I had already met before were attending the event.. Jill aka The Food Scout, Richard aka Tales from The Tummy, and Franny Wanny. Also joining us, was the lifestyle blogger known as "Animetric". 

    After that, I didn't recognize anyone else. However, I did get the feeling that I was a little bit under dressed, because everyone else in the room looked like they had just walked off the set of "Sex In The City". I asked Richard who they were and he simply said, "Fashion Bloggers.", and in that instance it made total sense. This was my first time to see fashion bloggers altogether, and they looked like a fun bunch.


    I honestly don't know the first thing about fashion. My mentality is to just wear whatever still fits. To me, it's pretty simple. Bloggers are bloggers. Everyone has their own passions. Mine is food. I take pictures of the food on my plate, and write about if I liked it or not, and where I got it. They do the exact same thing.. except with their outfits. 


   Anyone who blogs is considered kindred to my soul, so I say more power to them! 

    Going back to the event, we got to meet in person some of the brilliant minds behind Yabu: The House of Katsu.. 


      Co-Owner, Mr. Gerry Santos, who happens to be a friend of the man that recommended Yabu to me in the first place, Direk Yeyey.  



       The Katsu Master himself, fresh from Japan, Chef Kazuya Takeda. I was quite impressed with his take on food, and his dedication to preparing only authentic Katsu to his customers. 




             The man tasked to carry on the legacy of Chef Kazuya here in the Philippines is Chef Lee Jose. I've got to say, basing it on my past two visits to Yabu, I've got to say that he's done an amazing job.

THE FOOD 



          I started off my meal with a tall Watermelon Shake. Though I'm more of a chocolate milkshake kind of guy, I have to say that this fruit shake was very refreshing. Since I don't think watermelon was acidic, this is something that I would definitely order again. 


      For appetizers, we were given Hiyayakko Tofu and.. what I thought was egg and potato salad. Apparently I was wrong. This wasn't just any egg & potato salad.. this was a salad that was not lacking in confidence. This was the SUPERIOR Egg and Potato salad. 

THE NEW MENU



           The reason for the whole event was to introduce the newest additions to the Yabu menu to the public. The first was something that would please those of you that want a reprieve from red meat.. The Salmon Katsu Set Meal. Salmon is by far healthier than pork, but it could be just as hearty as swine. The Salmon Katsu was delicately coated with Yabu's trademark Panko flakes, and the meat was cooked to a stunningly even light pink hue.



         For hardcore seafood lovers who are looking for more variety in their meal, then Seafood Katsu Set No. 2 would be your equivalent of "Mana from Heaven". Think of two chunky pieces of the salmon that I was just talking about, and imagine him telling you, "Say Hello to my little friends!!".


    Not only does it have the Salmon, but also a large juicy Tiger Prawn, a Hiroshima Jumbo Oyster, and the newest kid on Yabu's block.. The Creamy Crab. 



       Another new addition to Yabu's Menu was the Special Katsudon, which is available in four different variants.. "Rosu", which I mentioned is pork with a bit more lining of fat, while "Hire" is the leaner version. It is also available in Chicken and an Ebi (Shrimp) & Fish combination. 


     Naturally, The Food Scout ordered the Shrimp and Fish Combo hehe


     I loved how the three other bloggers and I, when asked what which variant we wanted to order, said "Rosu" nearly simultaneously. 


     Even just by looking at it though, it was clear that it was way different from the Rosu Katsudon Rina had ordered during our first visit to Yabu. It was more visually stunning and obviously more complex. I was excited to dig in because at first glance I thought there were thinly sliced strips of bacon on it. Then Richard of Tales from The Tummy explained to me that it's called "Bonito Flakes" - paper thin slices of air dried fish that added a smoky flavor to the meal. Also thrown into the mix are some strips of Nori and Shisho (Japanese Basil), and topped off with a perfectly cooked sunny side up fried egg.  


          When You dig into the bowl, something you'll discover is the presence of a sauce, much different from the Tonkatsu sauce i'm used to. This was thin, miso-based sauce that was drizzled unto the rice and the Rosu pork meat. The sauce was thin enough to allow it to seep into the meat, and packed a wonderful flavor that had just a hint of sweetness to it. You wouldn't  think that all these components would work together, but they did so wonderfully. 

     This is definitely what I'm going to order when I go back.  

PIX

Photo courtesy of Paul The PR Guy


      The Yabu "Katsu for 25" even was a memorable one for me. Not just because of the kick ass food, but because it was the first time that a complete stranger who reads my blog asked to have a picture taken with me! I've had a couple of people approach me in the past to say they like my blog, but to have a picture taken with me? Yup, that was a first!


      The lovely young lady is Bestie, and she happens to be a fashion blogger as well. Check out her site HERE. Bestie and I made a deal. She's gonna help me re-work my wardrobe so I don't always look like I buy my clothes from "Garage-io Sale-io", and I'll introduce her to the best buffet restaurants around! Nice meeting you, Bestie!  


     Also, I didn't realize it then, but the person taking our picture, the blogger known as Paul The PR Guy, is someone that I had actually worked with a few years back! 

    He was a skinny teenager then, which is why I couldn't quite place him. hehe.. Great to see you again, buddy! I'm glad all is well! 
      
(Left to right) Animetric, Franny Wanny, The Food Scout, Mr. Gerry Santos & Chef Kazuya of Yabu, The Pickiest Eater, Tales From the Tummy, Yabu Brand Manager Denise)
Photo courtesy of Paul The PR Guy


         This picture is funny. Everyone has a huge smile looking straight at the camera, and I seem to be the only one distracted by all the gorgeous fashion bloggers at the side (I'm not "manyak", I swear). 







     Something that shocked me and left me overwhelmed at the same time, was the "Blogger Wall" that led to the restroom. The people at Yabu decided to show bloggers a token of their appreciation by printing out excerpts from blogs that featured their restaurant, and hung them on the wall. But I gotta commend them, because they didn't just print it out in their Desk Jet printer and buy a frame from National Bookstore either. This was well thought out and designed tastefully. 


       And if you needed any more motivation in going to the toilet, they posted the picture Rina took of me with the Katsudon on their wall!!


     On the whole, Yabu Brand Manager, the gorgeous Denise did a masterful job of running the event smoothly and keeping tabs on everyone that night. Congrats Denise, I had a blast! 

     I've got to say, it was truly an honor to shake the hand of Chef Kazuya for his willingness to bring his world class Katsu preparation skills to the Philippines is commendable. 
   
    While Mr. Gerry Santos deserves a courtesy call from President Aquino for his efforts in bringing our ties to the Japanese even closer! (Oh no wait.. it's the Chinese we're fighting with.. but still!)





Yabu: House of Katsu

2/F, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Philippines


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      I have a Two Thousand Peso GC from Yabu that I'm thinking of giving away but now that I read my post again and remembered everything I ate that night, I'm thinking that I want to use it. 

     Hmm.. Stay tuned. 

33 comments:

  1. I miss Yabu! :) It's been a while since I visited. I super want to try the Salmon Katsu, but then again, I still love pork (currently eating lechon kawali while typing). Hahaha! :)

    I like your smile on the group pic. Parang nakakaloko lang.hehe. :P Peace!

    Thanks for sharing the picture of my blog on Yabu's wall! :D

    Sharing my Yabu experience:
    http://www.dekaphobe.com/2012/03/yabu-house-of-katsu.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great stuff michie! congrats as well!

      Delete
    2. BTW, congratulations! You're officially a model! :D

      Delete
    3. haha kung ako yung bambato ng Yabu against Tokyo Tokyo and Daniel Matsunaga, kawawa naman ang Yabu!

      Delete
    4. Why not? hahaha! :D Si Daniel pang-masa, ikaw pang sosyal, naman!!! :D

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks again for the referral direk! Rosu and Richie.. Match made in heaven!!

      Delete
  3. Wish you would put the address of the place you go to

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry Marty! haha you just don't know how many times someone has told me that! I get so focused on the food and the story that i miss out on those details!


      Yabu: House of Katsu, SM Megamall
      2/F, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave
      Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
      Philippines

      Delete
    2. Please follow us on Twitter @yabuPH and Facebook for updates https://www.facebook.com/yabuhouseofkatsu

      Delete
  4. share some Yabu GCs Richie! hehehe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But.. but.. the Katsudon is just too good!! hhmm... hehehe..

      Delete
  5. I'm envious! Gotta try that "Rolls Royce of Tonkatsu's"! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really should Edelweiza! Share your link here when you do, please!

      Delete
  6. Richie... you have finally arrived!!! The Andy Garcia of the food blogging world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha my chest is nowhere near as hairy!

      Delete
  7. wow! i love that blogger wall! great move by Yabu! :) could you take it home??? That would be awesome haha! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a floor plan of their resto and I'm drawing up a scheme how to break it out of there!

      I can't divulge the details cuz they might be reading this hehehe

      Delete
    2. hahaha! :) I can serve as look out :) don't forget to bring the tools :)

      Delete
    3. haha yan tuloy Berylle, na buking na tayo ng brand manager ng Yabu!!

      Delete
  8. Richie, YOU. ARE. HILARIOUS.! I've never experienced feeling so hungry and then laughing ridiculously at the same time. You are now officially my favorite blogger! All of us from Yabu are so lucky to be part of your blog!

    I really enjoyed reading this and it's my pleasure to have invited you to the event! :)

    P.S. I have now informed Megamall security to look out for a guy (potentially wearing a bonnet) who's going to steal a frame at Yabu.

    P.P.S. Go give away the GC's already! :p

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha Thank you so much, Denise! I really appreciated the invite :)

      Don't worry, abort mission na kami ni Berylle!!

      Still debating about giving away the GC's! My wife wants to try the Seafood Katsudon Set 2!!!! hehe

      Delete
  9. I like how you said, " Naturally, The Food Scout ordered the Shrimp and Fish Combo hehe" HAHAHA!

    great dinner!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well i was pretty sure you weren't going to order the fatty pork!

      Delete
  10. "i'm not manyak, i swear." - hahaha. i couldn't stop laughing at this! what a great post; it seriously put a big smile on my face. not only was i reminded of how amazing that night was (thinking about it still makes my tummy grumble), but it also affirmed the fact that bloggers from completely different worlds are now crossing paths and slowly understanding & appreciating each other on a bigger scale. i just think it's awesome. :D

    i really am happy to be your "first pa-picture" (which was a surprise to me, to be honest!), and i hope you've gotten plenty since. ^^, see you around, you picky eater, you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly how I feel as well, Bestie! The common thing all bloggers have is the love that they share for their passion, regardless of what that passion may be :)

      Haha No other pa-picture yet! just you hehe.. Hope to see ya again in an event or something! we still have my wardrobe to re-work, dont forget! haha

      Delete
  11. The salmon katsu looks tempting, but it pretty much disappeared from the front of my brain when you mentioned the rosu pork fillet. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha I almost stopped taking pictures of everything else when they brought out my rosu kastsudon, so I don't blame you, Midge!!

      Delete
    2. Incidentally, I recommend that you try the beefy bacon rice bowl down at Bonanza over at the Galleon Food Avenue along Paseo de Roxas. They don't skimp on either the beef or the bacon. ;)

      Delete
    3. Oh cool! I know where that is! it used to be right beside Rina's old office.. Thanks Midge! Sounds exactly like something I'd order :)

      Delete
  12. It's so cool that your picture is on their wall! I wanna eat at Yabu soon!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails