free-for-a-review food blogger events are not usually my cup of tea. 9.5 out of
10 times, I fly solo and pay for my meals if I do wish to blog about a product.
As a blogger, there’s no place for euphemism and second thoughts when
There are those infrequent
occasions though when I say yes to invites provided 1) I won’t be pasting
canned PRs, and 2) the inviting companies agrees I have absolute freedom to
write an honest review, whether positive or negative.
King Katsu was one of those few exceptions I made. As a sister company of BBB
(Big Better Burgers) for which I have done a previous review, not only did I
expect the quality to be as superb as BBB’s, but also know these people play
fair and square.
Despite the modest size,
King Katsu is a cozy, quiet nook off SM North Edsa’s mod Sky Garden. Like many
of the burgeoning modern Japanese joints today, the design leaves almost no
trace of the traditional Japanese’s. Seats, comfortable and enrobed in classy
black leather; tummy-high wooden tables and counters; an LCD TV mounted on
one side of the snowflake-adorned wall, and a comfy reading area with
travel mags all bear Western minimalist influence.
the server cum receptionist cheerily inquired as our party of 2
1/2 arrived. Off the bat we were assisted to our seats and offered a hot bowl
of miso soup (P25) each, which was pretty light and somewhat akin to Karate
Kid’s. There’s room for more miso though, and in the future I hope they do
incorporate that into the soup.
Cabbage (P30), thin shreds of fresh green cabbage paired with
peppercorn-flecked light mayo dip. It’s a straightforward salad for the weight
conscious, that handful of cabbage a perfect vehicle for the tangy mayo.
Deriving from its name,
much of King Katsu’s menu consists of katsus of various meat types
(chicken, pork, and fish, plus cheese as well as shrimp for the tonkatsus):
from their tonkatsu meals down to the curries and katsudons. Apart from those
three, they serve yakitori, sando and niku dango.
Beverages are pretty basic
too, consisting of Coca-cola products, San Miguel beer variants and Red Iced
Tea (which is a bit too sweet). There’s little variety, yes, but on one
hand, it lets guests focus on the the resto’s specialties and not get too
overwhelmed. I do hope that one day they’ll start serving Japanese
desserts though like mochis and green tea-flavored cakes and ice creams. When
that happens I’ll be the first one to make the run.
Meals here are
Pinoy-friendly: they all come with free miso soup and soft Japanese rice, plus
angel hair cabbage salad for the tonkatsu meals.
sets range from P149 to P179, katsudon meals from P149 to P159,
and curry meals start at P139. The pork variety is the cheapest while fish
and seafood are the most expensive of the bunch. The sando is only P69 and it
is not exactly of miniscule proportion- so are any of the meals. In fact, they
are all hefty by Pinoy standards and can be shared by y’all discerning
lovebirds. And like BBB, things are served resto-style. You sit, pick a dish
from the menu, and the staff will deliver it straight to your table. Nice for
such inexpensive rates, yes?
We were served the chicken
curry, pork katsudon and shiitake teriyaki sando – all bestsellers – for the
mains. All katsu meats are covered in the same tasty, crunchy batter, the
insides soft though not splintering.
became a favorite for us and I can understand how this gigantic meal is among
the most ordered dishes. The meat’s tender as chicken with a well-seasoned
fried batter smothered with katsudon sauce. In some Japanese joints, it’s
either the white wine’s too plenty or the eggs overdone, and here, I appreciate
how the sauce is light and the egg’s perfectly runny.
What I like about their
curry is you could choose to have the meat served separate from the curry sauce
– an excellent option for those who want to try both curry and
tonkatsu meals without paying for both. The sauce is just okay, thick and
light with a soft taste of lime, and potatoes and carrots that are
Normally elsewhere, food
hubs serve Japanese sando or sandwiches in bento-size square-cut white bread
but in King Katsu, everything is a bit supersized and that extends to their
sandos as well. They use grilled white bun, about 6-7 inches long. In
between, it’s brimming with angel hair cabbage, shiitake and beef strips in
sweet teriyaki sauce. The shiitake teriyake sando is reminiscent of asado siopao, with the
sweetness of the bun and the taste of the teriyaki sauce. Thick and filling,
it’s a meal in itself.
katsu sando though, and surely that item is on the list the next time we visit.
As paying customers. That’s probably the best thing when one gets invited to
food stops like this. One gets acquainted with alternatives that were
previously unknown to her. And when have you more choices, well, that’s just
*King Katsu also has branches in Taft Avenue (La Salle) and at the Pergola Mall, Aguirre St., BF Homes, Paranaque City.