Restaurant Review: Yabu

Much has been said about Yabu: The House of Katsu. Unfortunately, I am one of the very few losers who took a long time to give it a try. The endless queues and long waiting time definitely didn't appeal to me. I just wasn’t that interested to know what the buzz was about. When we went to Alabang Town Center last October, we saw an opportunity to finally eat at Yabu. Joie and I were both so surprised when we noticed that the long line that was a usual sight at Yabu was not visible. When we reached the restaurant, we realized that it wasn’t operational yet! Bwahahaha! Major major fail! Kaya pala walang tao. What was more disappointing was the fact that it would start its operation the following day. Malas much! :p

But just last month, my husband and I found our way to Alabang once again for a much needed staycation. Before checking-in to our hotel, we decided to go to ATC first for lunch. We arrived a little before lunch time and the place was packed! There was already a queue when we got there. I was ready to walk away when a waitress informed us that there is a table for two outside. Para talaga sa amin. Alam kasi nilang darating kami. Charot! :p

DSC_0149 Sauces and Condiments

There is definitely an unspoken battle between Yabu and Saboten. I actually have a theory. Those who tried Yabu first favor it. And those who have been to Saboten first will say that they like it better. I love love love Saboten. As a matter of fact, I had been there twice. See my Saboten posts here and here. Anyway, because I am deeply in love with Saboten, the challenge for Yabu was to at least reach the spot in my heart where Saboten resides. Harharhar. :p After our first try at Yabu, I finally understood what the buzz was about. Allow me to state the differences I spotted between Saboten and Yabu.

The menu is almost the same. Even the idea of having "unlimited everything" and the grind-your-own-sesame-seeds are the same. Some say that they like Yabu’s shredded cabbages because of the finer cut. But based from my experience, Saboten’s version is finer. My vote also goes to Saboten when it comes to the pickled vegetables. The one I had with Yabu was left untouched. But I love the fact that Yabu has three sauces for the cabbages. The wasabi sauce was actually good.

DSC_0151 Rosu (180g) PHP375

Boyet decided to have the Rosu Tonkatsu set. It comes with rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, shredded cabbages and a bowl of fruit. According to him, he could not spot the difference between Yabu and Saboten when it comes to the katsu. But he could not stop raving about the miso soup. He even asked for a second serving.

On the other hand, I opted to have their Katsu Curry. I actually don’t like anything with curry. But since I loved Saboten’s Katsu Curry, I decided to give Yabu’s version a try just so I could compare the two.

DSC_0154Katsu Curry PHP350

When you order for a Katsu Curry, you can decide how spicy you want it to be. Of course, I want it hot!

I have to agree with Boyet that there isn’t much of a difference between the two when it comes to the katsu. Both are tender, flavorful and cooked to perfection. But when it comes to the sauce, Yabu’s version wins by a landslide. I love how pungent it was. Good thing I didn’t opt to have the VERY HOT version. It’s definitely not for the weak-hearted.

Overall, we enjoyed our first time at Yabu. Service was exemplary! The servers are very attentive to all our needs. Plus, they were all so cheerful which made our experience more enjoyable. =)

Yabu: The House of Katsu
Upper Ground Floor
Alabang Town Center,
Alabang, Muntinlupa

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