Yabu: House of Katsu


From Katsu being known as the Japanese equivalent of the wiener schnitzel, Yabu’s John Concepcion wanted to turn it into an upmarket version of the hamburger. And so, one weekend, the family trooped to Yabu at Robinson’s Magnolia to try it out and discover whether all the buzz about the restaurant was well deserved.

The tonkatsu was from premium Kurobuta pork with a generous trimming of fat. Almost like “pulutan” (finger food for drinking), I thought to myself. There was sake in the menu, but I thought that I already have had serious education in the art of drinking sake from my good friend, Danny Surtani, when he was still with Deutsche Bank Tokyo. And so I tried the Shiranami shochu, a distilled spirit largely from potato, I believe.

Wooo-hoo! Was it strong! At the risk of scorn from the purists, I mixed a little of my daughter’s lemonade and a bit of my son’s sprite into the alcohol and I enjoyed a pretty darn good mojito with my dinner.

And the food you ask? Excellent, although a bit pricey for a “burger” place.


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