Only quite a few number of Filipino folks are crazy about Japanese cuisine. Luckily, I'm one of them. And it's easy to guess why.

I'm extremely drawn to its inexplicable taste of flavors. And the palatable varieties.

I'm a typical Asian who loves everything about oriental dishes. And when it comes to oriental restaurants, I would not look further beyond a Japanese resto.

There's something about Japanese restaurants that draws my palate. Perhaps, it's the distinct flavors.

Succulent. Delectable. Magical.

This awesome uniqueness can be attributed to the country's long-cherished tradition of preparing dishes. Japan is home to the best cuisine in the world. Because Japanese are meticulous people. They're known to have prepared their dishes with great attention to details and taste. And always healthy and savory. As though there's always some secret hidden behind the flavor. The taste pinches to the bones, and down to the core. Terrific!

Japanese food never grows old. It has a long history of enticing diners with its luscious flavors. And it never runs out of tricks stimulating one's appetite. And anyone who's into Japanese dishes is going crazy with its plethora of recipes. The sushi craze, the ramen craze, the maki craze. And in recent years, the katsu craze. There's always an exciting discovery of flavors waiting in a Japanese restaurant.

And at YABU, my love for Japanese dishes only intensifies.

Dubbed as the House of Katsu, Yabu has been reaping praises from diners in the past years due to its high-end Katsu meals. According to its official website, chefs at Yabu in Metro Manila branches have been trained under chef Kazuya Takeda, popularly known as the Master of Katzu in Tonkatsu Takeshin, a famous Tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. Which explains why the Katsu meals at Yabu so far are the best Katsu  in the Philippines.

We visited the Yabu branch at UP Town Center last weekend and the atmosphere was perfect for a scorching summer weather. Light interior with a direct view of the garden. Cool! It was a blistering Sunday noon and we wanted nothing but a cozy place to relax over conversation and good food.

Jeff is my constant companion in all of my food adventures since last year and I am always confident I would end up an incredible meal each time I am with him. And in all our food trips, I always let him decide which one in the menu is perfect for a hungry appetite. 😁😁 He is quite expert in comprehending culinary terms and what suits my palate so I let him pick the best one.

Normally, when we're dining together, we never settled on similar dishes, we usually chose two kinds so that we could taste both. In this food outing, he chose a Katsu meal set and a bowl of Mozarella Katsu sticks. This Katsu set consists of creamy dory katsu, shredded cabbage and one cup of brown rice with sesame seeds on top.

Perfect lunch at Yabu!

And we're off to some ritual.

Japanese menu, as everybody knows, never runs out of tricks in captivating diners' appetite. It seems there is always new to delve on. And at Yabu, something new is bound to discover.

Creating our own Katsu sauce!

I've been to a number of Japanese restaurants in the city but I've never encountered such ritual as this.

Katsu meal and a bowl of mozarella katsu sticks with cheesy awesomeness!

At Yabu, diners are treated to distinct yummy sauces!

So how this ritual goes on?

First, you have to see this oval-shaped ceramic jar in front. It contains the Tonkatsu sauce. Then the waiter will give a small bowl of black and white sesame seeds. It must be pounded into powdery pieces. Jeff did the labor 😅 And I was more ecstatic while looking on because as sesame seeds crushed, the aromatic scent draped around.

It stimulates my appetite and sets my mood for a hearty lunch.

Jeff pounding the sesame seeds

After crushing the sesame seeds, we were told to get at least two scoops of Tonkatsu sauce from the ceramic jar and poured it to the crushed sesame seeds to create a perfect Katsu sauce. Incredible!

The aromatic smell filled the air with enticing scent that intensifies my hunger 😅 

Two scoops of Tonkatsu sauce, mixing it with the crushed sesame seeds,
and you will have a perfect Katsu sauce!

Scrumptious Mozarella Katsu sticks!

At Yabu, you will be introduced to a variety of sauces, some of which you might have not tasted in your life, just be careful with mixing each, you might not like the outcome. Because some of those are really strange. But with an adventurous palate, each sauce offers something new. A new flavor of excitement. It never bores you as long as it goes down to the tummy.

My best experience at Yabu however is creating our own Katsu sauce and devouring the Katsu meal and the Mozarella sticks! The Japanese breadcrumbs, known as the fresh Panko, are great coating for dishes and I like its texture. Its close to perfection.

And one thing I adored about Japanese dishes is the way it cooked and prepared. Meticulous, grand, enticing, sumptious. And did I say healthy? Yes. I've heard at Yabu they used Canola oil instead of those unhealthy lard.

You can have your own Yabu experience by visiting any branches of Yabu in Metro Manila. Trust me, you will never regret the trip. It's the best Katsu experience!