Yabu House of Katsu revisited

Since posting about Ginza Bairin a couple of days back, I have been receiving a lot of inquiries comparing the two. Let’s go back to Yabu and let me tell you why I like it better than Ginza Bairin.

For some weird reason, I’d always get their Kurobuta Tonkatsu Set every time I visit Yabu. I have only dined at Yabu thrice and have gotten their premium tonkatsu set every single time. As told by my Japanese friend, Kurobuta pork is a very expensive meat. It’s like the Kobe beef of pork–only good stuff, I suppose. This gives me a good benchmark to compare Yabu vs. Ginza Bairin.

120g of awesome Kurobuta pork set at Php575.00

You can see that Yabu’s Kurobuta set is cheaper by Php20 against Ginza Bairin. Given the similar price point, you can just compare the two restaurants by their service level excellence… or the overall experience.

Thanks to Yabu, the Filipinos have been educated with the art of grinding their own sesame seeds and preparing their own tonkatsu sauce. When you dine at Yabu, this is the first thing they will give you as you wait fro your order. I guess this “pre-meal ritual” has been part of Yabu’s offer of unique dining experience to their customers. What’s odd in Ginza Bairin is that we even had to ask for the sesame seeds from the waiter AFTER receiving our order.

I’m a sucker for wasabi and I usually soak my cabbage in Yabu’s green sauce, which I’m guessing is some sort of wasabi-based dressing. When I was at Ginza Bairin, they didn’t have this particular dressing–so that’s one more point for Yabu. Also, aside from loving the unlimited serving of cabbage with their wasabi dressing, I remember telling my friends about Yabu’s Karashi (spicy mustard sauce) beside the shredded cabbage and how much I loved it. Looking back, I realize that Ginza Bairin forgot to serve my favorite Karashi as shown below.

Nope. The Karashi was nowhere in sight on my Ginza Bairin set.

There is nothing much to comment about the food. To me, their Kurobuta pork is almost the same (although my friend told me Yabu seems to be juicier). What was magnified to me was that Ginza Bairin’s service level needs to be better. Although my dining experience with Ginza Bairin is not really bad, I think Ginza Bairin has to level up their game to make their customers feel delighted and keep up with Yabu.

How about you? What’s your experience with Yabu?

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