Tonkatsu story
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Tonkatsu or Japanese pork cutlet is something I like to eat but don’t get to eat often except when abroad, because what we have here in Manila is usually close to a breaded porkchop.
In Singapore, I used to eat this with Ana, at the basement of Takashiyama

Romankan Yokohama
romankan yokohama

Until something better came along: Tonkichi can be found in many places in Singapore and Hong Kong.
My favorite combo is pork (rosu katsu) and oysters


Don’t forget a side of soft-shell crab

Soft-shell crab, Tonkichi

As far as the real thing goes, there’s Maisen, practically an institution in Omotesando


It’s not my favorite tonkatsu, but I get this warm fuzzy feeling when I’m there because Omotesando is one of my favorite places in the whole world

Maisen tonkatsu

Recently I’ve been looking forward to Saboten at the Hong Kong airport. I always plan my meal around it—meaning, I make sure I have appetite and time to eat before flying. There’s always a crazy line


Here’s my favorite meal


Now, Yabu comes to SM Megamall. Recently opened last November 11th, I was invited to have dinner there by its owners Peachy and John Concepcion. One wall has manga


The other has sake cups

Wall of sake cups

Peachy tells me it started with her husband’s obsession to bring authentic tonkatsu to Manila. The concept of Yabu was developed through the help of a Japanese consultant.
I can’t tell you how much food we ate.

Keri, Grace, Jay, Len

What I liked most were the rosu katsu (pork with a little bit of fat) and the plump Japanese oysters (Hint: I don’t like tonkatsu sauce, so I dip this in ponzu sauce and sesame seeds, which they have on the table as a salad dressing).


Here’s the seafood combo

Mixed seafood katsu

They were on soft opening when we dined there last week, so the service still needs some polishing (sesame seeds should arrive before food) and the seafood tended to crumble in its breading. But I’ll definitely be back with Jeroen very soon.
I’m just happy with have something like this in Manila, and very close to home.

Yabu, the House of Katsu is now open on the 2nd level Atrium of SM Megamall.
Open daily from 10 AM-10 PM.
Tel. 576-3900
To know more, visit

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