This article should otherwise also be titled “I can’t believe I’m writing this review.” I have long since scoffed at the raves I’ve been seeing online about Yabu. I have had experiences where the online hype was generally just that: to generate interest, but usually it doesn’t really have anything backing it. I’m glad and very surprised to say that Yabu rises up to the challenge more than adequately.
The Man and I finally found the time to try out Yabu, and we decided to see what it’s all about. First you are greeted with this nice little setup of condiments. The tall ones at the back are the salad dressings, the three small ones in front are chili powder and oil, and the big pot on the left is the teriyaki liquid. I forgot what was in the right pot.
The menu teaches you how to mix your teriyaki sauce. You are given a small bowlful of sesame seeds, which you are to crush to let out the flavor. The Man chooses to keep his seeds whole, so he can use it as furikake (sprinkles over rice).
Our individual orders came in. I got the seafood katsu set 1, which included cream dory, squid, scallop, a huge prawn tempura, and what is perhaps the hugest oyster I have seen. As with nearly all meal sets in Yabu, these come with a side of pickles, a small bowl of fruit, and unlimited rice and cabbage. I also got tartar sauce for the fish. My meal costed Php485.
Take a closer look at this oyster. This is awesome! 10/10 would go back just for this oyster. It may be a little too rich for me though, so I don’t think I would ever get the meal set that gives you four of these. That much rich seafood might give me allergies.
The Man chose a Rosu 180g set, which is a pretty big piece of pork katsu. It’s nicely fried and sectioned, and since it’s not the premium pork, it has a bit of fat. This slab of pork can probably feed two people. His meal costed Php405.
Here’s a closer look at a pork katsu slice.
On the overall, it was a great experience. The staff was very friendly, and refills of rice, cabbage, and iced tea were offered frequently. Perhaps the only drawback one might encounter are the lines. Yabu has become pretty popular, and it’s not unusual to see a wait list before you can be seated.
Summary: A very excellent meal! I am glad that the experience was able to support the online raves. We would definitely be back to try the other items on the menu. We spent about Php1100 total, as we also each got bottomless iced tea.
Ambiance: 9 (when the restaurant is full, the space for walking between the tables/aisles is very narrow)