Japan's original Tonkatsu resto, Saboten, has finally opened a franchise in the Philippines-it was brought here by Raintree Restaurants. I ate here yesterday after my Barre3 class-I figured that it would be the perfect way to end my Saturday.
PRICE RANGE: P250.00-P800.00
From what I've gathered, Saboten has been serving good ol' Tonkatsu since 1966. They have branches around the world, from Asia to the USA.
Of course I had to order Tonkatsu because I wanted to know if it's any better than Yabu, my go- to restaurants for the said dish.
For the Tonkatsu dish, they have various cuts and sizes: They have Loin and Tenderloin that come in small, medium, and large portions. The Tonkatsu comes as a set meal: You get cabbage, soup, pickles and raddish, and plain rice. Just like Yabu, everything's refillable. (except their Iced Tea!)
Unlike Yabu's style wherein they serve everything all at once, Saboten serves you the appetizers plus the cabbage bowl before the rice and Tonkatsu. I was really hungry that time so I appreciated it so much. Notice the small bowl filled with sesame seeds? Yes, you're right-you're supposed to pound them and pour Tonkatsu sauce onto it, just like Yabu. As for their salad dressings, they have sesame mayo and a balsamic- like sauce. Saboten's mayo dressing ain't a far cry from Yabu's. I like Saboten's second dressing though.
Now here comes the main event. What I got was Tenderloin cut, medium portion.
They use Bonito flakes as breading, and it made the entire thing very crunchy. The Tonkatsu stayed crunchy for a long time, and they use real pork cuts-not pounded pork formed into steak cuts.
Overall, their Tonkatsu tastes good, but it's not any better than Yabu. If I may recall, both restaurants don't differ significantly-from the food selections, preparation style and all-except that Yabu's a lil' cheaper. It's just sad that there's no Yabu restaurant near my area, and I'm happy that there's Saboten for those moments when I'm craving for Tonkatsu.
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