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  • Writer's pictureMonch Weller

[19] On Good Luck Meals: Triptych 5

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Japanese restaurants have long been ubiquitous in the Philippine dining scene. Among their usual menu items alongside shrimp tempura and sushi rolls is katsudon, which is a portmanteau of katsu (breaded meat cutlet) and donburi (rice bowl dish). Katsudon is commonly eaten by students the night before taking a major examination, as the katsu in its name sounds like the verb "katsu" (勝つ), which means "to succeed".

This triptych features three katsudon dishes I tried from three different restaurants around March 2014. Let's talk about these good luck meals!


This Ebi and Fish Katsu set from Yabu set me back for around a huge amount, but it was worth the splurge! This was the best kind of katsu I tried out; a complete meal in itself with a large piece of tiger prawn tempura, cream dory fillet, angel hair cabbage, pickled vegetables, watermelon slices, unlimited rice, unlimited cabbage, and unlimited miso soup! I liked the experience of grinding the sesame seeds that accompanied the meal, but I preferred the combination of the tonkatsu sauce and soy sauce they provided. Unfortunately, I tapped out after the second serving of rice.


I had the chance to have lunch at the now-defunct Tonkatsu Taka in Cubao, ordering their Pork Katsudon Meal plus an extra order of Chawan Mushi (savory steamed egg pudding). The set consisted of miso soup, a side order of pickled ginger, and the katsudon bowl itself. Sadly, the katsudon bowl needed improvement as it was a tough cut and the breading tasted oily. Good thing the steamed egg and ginger acted as palate cleaners for this meal. Too bad I never had the chance to see if it improved - as Tonkatsu Taka closed due to low customer traffic.


King Katsu initially drew the ire of some anime fans because of its advertisements that featured Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night. However, I was lucky enough to try their offerings and they did not disappoint. The aptly-sized Fish Katsu was exceptional in itself, with extra shiitake mushrooms for additional protein. The mushrooms were cooked right - not too tough - and complimented the delicate texture of the fish. The only gripe I had with this, if any, would be that it only came with a bowl of miso soup.


And that caps off this triptych. Until the next post, bon appetit!

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