Yabu Time (December 19, 2014)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's true what they say that it's the outing that isn't planned that gets pushed through. I actually wasn't planning on going to Yabu, until my friends Earl and Jean (who hitched a ride with me from some other stuff we did) thought the best way to unwind would probably be to go to Yabu. 

I haven't been to Yabu many times as my mother hates the place. If we're going out as a family, Yabu is automatically crossed out of the list. Well, she doesn't really have this hatred toward the place to the point that she wants to nuke it or something, more of she's just not into fried food and a restaurant that banks on how well it fries its pork just doesn't appeal to her. This is why I always associate Yabu with friends, as it's usually when I eat out with friends that Yabu pops up as an option, and more often than not it pops up as the primary choice for dining. 

I also always associate Yabu with its cute manga, which varies per branch. The SM North branch talks about its Menchi Katsu, and if I'm not mistaken, Robinsons Magnolia talks about their fried oyster. I wish I could find the branch that has their Berkshire pigs in the manga. 

And I honestly wished I brought my SLR along because phone photos just do not give justice to how good the food is. (well how was I supposed to know we all came from doing serious stuff and in the first place we weren't even supposed to go to SM). 

As with any lovely katsu meal, it all begins with grinding a generous bowl of sesame seeds. 

I usually don't take too much time grinding because I'm lazy, and I think that as long as I get to eat the sesame seeds alongside the cats sauce, then I should be fine. 

Here's Earl and Jean happily grinding their seeds. Yes this is a scripted photo as they are usually not this happy when grinding sesame seeds hahaha. 

The sauce jar reminds me of Jewel in the Palace a lot because of the bamboo scoop. It'd be soooooo cute if someone were to actually sell jars with matching bamboo scoops in houseware stores. 

As with any other katsu ceremony, Earl prides in pouring katsu sauce onto his bowl of sesame seeds. 

 I've been craving incessantly for octopus and squid for quite some time already so I ordered their baby octopus salad. I felt quite guilty eating the baby octopus, but the glutton in me tells me that it's okay huhuhaha. 

I've also been craving for wakame salad so this is why this is the other appetizer I chose. The last time I had it was when our aunt from Canada came about two years ago, so I was looking forward to eating wakame salad again. 

The octopus salad may look spicy, but in reality, it's not. It's just a reddish colored mild barbecue sauce. The octopuses are reaaally tasty, and fresh if you ask me, given how nice the texture is. I really wish tha they didn't include the cucumbers anymore because they're so tasteless, and I have no idea how they plan to contribute to the taste of the octopus. 

As for the wakame salad, as expected, it's the same good stuff I was craving for. I'm not the type who's into salads that are bathing in mayonnaise so this is why these kinds of dishes appeal to me.  

Finally, my main dish arrives. In my other visits to Yabu, I've tried their Rosu set and Menchi set, but I haven't tried their Kurobuta set yet. So, being the hungry lowlife I am who came from a semester of no sleep, I do not think twice about ordering Berkshire pig for lunch.

At first glance, it looks just like any other katsu set they serve in the restaurant. But once you sink your teeth into the pork, it really delivers. If anything, I think that Berkshire pork is the pork counterpart of wagyu. The slices have this extra thin layer of fat marbled in that make the pork waaaay tastier than Yabu's already tasty default setting for their katsus. It's worth the extra cost as the pork tastes noticeably softer and more flavorful than their usual katsu. For some reason, it also feels more luxurious than the usual. 

What probably makes me the happiest about all this is that I can really feel where my extra money went. A lot of restaurants have all sorts of upgrades and differing prices for similar foods, but the more expensive foods don't necessarily taste better than their cheaper counterparts. I think the best example was when we were dining at this steak place, and my brother and I got steaks worth Php600, while papa got a steak worth Php2000. Our steak ended up tasting better than his, despite the extreme spike in price.  

I am definitely looking forward to having this again. 

And well, erm, this is the aftermath after three hungry people go to Yabu to eat after a deadly semester. 

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