Robinsons Magnolia Has the No. 1 Katsu Meal in Town!

It isn’t every day that I find Yabu not packed with people waiting in line to be seated and fed. One late Friday payday afternoon, imagine my surprise when I passed by the best House of Katsu in town, with not a single patron in sight waiting for a table. Not one!

In contrast, this is the typical scene that would greet passersby on any other day:

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia

That Friday, though, there was no queue. Like… for real?! I mean, this is FANTASTIC! So without thinking twice, I immediately book a table. At long last, I can now re-experience the best katsu restaurant after December 2022 when I first ate there and instantly understood what the hype and long wait were all about.

If you feel like going fried Japanese on your next meal at Robinsons Magnolia, take this guide as a preview of what you can expect, dining at Yabu: House of Katsu located on the Food Court (Lower Ground level) of Robinsons Magnolia mall.

What is katsu?

In Yabu’s world, “katsu” is a piece of quality meat cut or seafood enrobed in light Japanese panko bread crumbs and then cooked to crispy perfection — with none of the oily sogginess, greasiness or any other hot fried mess to disappoint you. After all, this is a pricey meal. So the quality better be dang good!

Well, here’s what mine looked like; you be the judge:

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Hire (hee-reh) Katsu

Yabu’s Special Hire (Hee-reh) Katsudon set is priced at PhP455.00 (roughly USD9.00). Hire is lean pork katsu vs. Rosu which includes pork fat.

The price is really not expensive if you factor in the refillable white or brown rice (your choice) and the heavenly fresh cabbage salad if you’re a veg lover, like me.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Cabbage salad

Did I say that the salad is refillable? Yes, it is!

So are the fresh fruit slices (for dessert):

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Fresh refillable fruit slices

So for PhP455.00 — give or take — you get an excellent all-you-can-eat (almost) katsu set which includes refillable cabbage salad, fresh fruits, white or brown rice, and miso soup.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Shredded cabbage for salad + hot miso soup

All told, the only one out of the equation is the katsu itself. Fair enough, considering that the meat or the seafood is the priciest piece of the set.

I did notice, though, that my set didn’t come with what looked like dried veggies — those colorful bits in the small black bowl that sits between the fresh fruits and the shredded lettuce.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Yabu katsu set menu

Other than that, the other elements of my hire katsu set looked like they came straight out of the menu! The resemblance is near perfect; no false advertising here. This can surely make you feel that you’re truly getting what you paid for. Hats off to Yabu for this!

This also meant that even without those dried veggies (maybe stocks ran out?), I didn’t feel short-changed — what with the amount of food I was already getting on refills (again, except for the meat or seafood katsu).

And, if you’re a small eater, like me, you may not even need a refill since the katsu serving is already quite generous. This, combined with the rice and the lettuce salad, is guaranteed to quickly fill you up.

In fact, I ended up with only one refill of the fresh and crunchy shredded cabbage salad.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Cabbage salad refill

I ended up taking home my leftover hire katsu, rice, and egg. Unexpectedly, it was still enough to fill me up at lunch.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Hearty leftover – hire katsu

How good is the food?

I’ve read other reviews on other Yabu branches, and most of those reviews were glowing. I’ll take that. The fact is there are a lot of great things to be said about Yabu’s food.

Taste-wise? Sorry to say but without its famous magic sauce, the katsu alone is bland.

This means that when I bit into the meat, I didn’t taste any seasoning — nothing. Sure, the meat was crunchy on the outside, perfectly chewy and obviously a quality cut, but then again — as far as the taste went, it was bland! I wish I can say otherwise, but sadly that was my experience.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia

Interestingly, the seasoning that was absent from the meat seemed to have transferred to the rice. So when I married the bland meat and the tasty rice together, then it became magic in my mouth. Apart, I’d rather eat the rice if it’s the taste I’m truly after.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Tasty rice

I don’t mean to sound unfair since it’s my first time ordering katsu at Yabu. Maybe cooking the meat was meant to be this way? Regardless, it was the kind of culinary surprise I sure was not expecting. You might want to know, in case you find yourself asking the same thing when you dine at The House of Katsu for the first time.


Being located at the food court, it is what it is. That said, don’t expect a great view at this branch. Of course not. On the upside, you’ll find Yabu vibrant inside and out; clean, and positively buzzing with energy from diners, as well as the friendly and positive vibe of their very attentive staff.

This is what it looked like from where I’m seated in the outer area of the restaurant:

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
In front of me
Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
To my right

How to get here

As shown below, you’ll find Yabu beside the Red Ribbon bakeshop, to its right.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia

If you’re coming from the mall entrance nearest H&M on the Upper Ground level, find the escalator beside the Roycé chocolate kiosk.

Royce Robinsons Magnolia
Robinsons Magnolia side entrance beside H&M

Then go one level down to the food court.

Robinsons Magnolia Food Court

When you see Kenny Rogers Roasters once you reach the Foodcourt, walk to the opposite side.

How to get to Yabu Robinsons Magnolia
Follow the arrow

If you’re coming from the main entrance near the corner of Doña Hemady St. and Aurora Blvd., look for MANGO.

Mango Robinsons Magnolia
From the main mall entrance fronting Aurora Blvd.

Not far from it, you’ll find the other escalator leading down to the Foodcourt.

Robinsons Magnolia escalator
The escalator near MANGO
Robinsons Magnolia escalator
Closest to Yabu

This is the side that’s nearest Yabu.

When in doubt, ask any of the mall’s friendly and helpful security personnel. You’ll usually find one roaming the Foodcourt.

Robinsons Magnolia security
Robinsons Magnolia’s friendly and helpful security staff

Should you dine at Yabu?

The House of Katsu is a preferred venue for group dining. Families tend to flock here, especially on weekends which is considered quality family time among Filipinos.

That said, don’t dismay if you’re dining solo. Like me, I survived dining at Yabu all by my lonesome. It’s all about choosing where to sit, basically to avoid feeling awkward amidst all the group or family diners — if you tend to feel that way.

Yabu Robinsons Magnolia

For the quality of food you’ll be having, there’s no need to think twice — bland katsu, aside! Plus, it won’t even cost you USD20.00. That’s one inexpensive yet delicious meal that will surely be worth your while.


I’m Rose Bueno — your expert Robinsons Magnolia guide. I live so near this mall that I know it like the back of my hand! Get the most extensive info on where to go and what you’ll find at this mall. Thanks for dropping by.

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