Place: Nice modern furnishings, sexy lighting, fun comic strip decor. Just gets a little cramped and noisy during lunch time.
Food: Ordinary. We ordered different Katsu sets: the Chicken Special (Php 330), Salmon (Php 435), and their bestseller and high-end dish, the Kurobuta Katsu (Php 515). We also had an Original Katsudon Set: Rosu Katsudon (Php 315). Each came with a bowl of miso soup, a cup of rice, a generous serving of shredded cabbage, a bowl of fruit (watermelon), and a small serving of pickled cucumber. We had the house tea for drinks.
The miso soup was good, very hearty and flavorful. The rice was well-cooked and of high quality. The shredded cabbage was fresh; one can eat it with either of two dressings: Shoyu (soy-based vinaigrette with a hint of sesame flavor) and Goma (sesame flavored mayonnaise). Both were delicious and nutty.
The pickled cucumbers were yummy and not too acidic. The watermelon slices were delicious, refreshing, and, best of all, seedless.
The house tea had good rice flavor, very earthy.
As for the meat items, well, they were all fried perfectly and were firm. The batter was light and didn't overly covered the meat. The taste? The chicken was juicy and well-seasoned. The salmon was perfect; it was fresh, buttery, and not too fishy. The Kurobuta (pork from the Berkshire pig, allegedly the world's finest) was juicy, had a pink color (compared to ordinary pork), and had a slightly sweet taste.
The Rosu Katsudon had a well-fried piece of pork that was well-seasoned and juicy. The sauce though had an unpunctuated taste, leaving us a little unsatisfied. More mirin, perhaps?
At Yabu, one is given a small bowl of sesame seeds that is ground and mixed with katsudon sauce. This concoction will serve as the dip for the meat items. It's a tad too tart, but the sesame seeds added a layer of depth and earthiness.
The dishes weren't not bad. It's just that they're ordinary and forgettable, making their prices unreasonable. We've eaten good katsu dishes at much lower prices.
Must-eats: Salmon Katsu
Price: Considering serving size and taste, prices are a bit unreasonable.
Service: Our server, Jun, was very knowledgeable about the dishes and friendly (but not familiar). Waiting time though exceeded the acceptable 15 minutes.