One popular yoshoku dish is katsudon. Made from pork slices dipped in flour, egg and Japanese bread crumbs, it's deep-fried until golden brown, and sliced into pieces that can be gripped with chopsticks. You can actually cook it at home, if you're so inclined.
But if you'd rather have a chef do it for you, Kimukatsu is one place you can visit. This restaurant takes the cooking process a step further by layering 25 pork slices on top of each other. As a result, their katsudon is tastier than usual, making them one of the most popular katsudon restaurants in Japan.
As for the other reasons they're popular, you're about to read them in the review below.
To date, Kimukatsu has three branches around the Metro: Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong; Bonifacio High Street, Taguig; and Century City Mall, Makati. You can easily spot the last one, due to the life-size imitation of a red samurai armor near the entrance.
Inside, the restaurant greets you with its black-and-gold interiors, lending it an aura of simple elegance characteristic of Japanese aesthetics. It's formal enough to be a venue for business meetings, but also casual enough to be a place where you can bring family and friends for special occasions. There's also J-pop music playing in the background; it's loud enough to be audible, but soft enough not to be distracting.
At each table, you'll have a layout that looks something like this.
Kimukatsu's signature dish is also called, well, Kimukatsu. It's basically a set, with katsudon as its centerpiece. The katsudon comes in seven flavors: black pepper, cheese, garlic, negi shio, ume shio, yuzu kosyo and plain. To get to the core of what makes their signature dish special, we ordered the plain version (see first picture above).
The katsudon may be small (only around 150 grams, according to the waiters), but every bite is worth it. Even if you let it cool off for a while, it still tastes great. You'll enjoy it best if you dip it in the crushed black sesame seeds and tonkatsu sauce provided.
As for the rest of the set, it consists of rice, miso soup, shredded cabbage and Japanese pickles.
For the miso soup, you can order either the "red" or "white" version. The red miso is saltier, while the white one is lighter. We chose the red version, and it's as satisfying as you'd expect a soup to be. The shredded cabbage and pickles were also nice, and complemented the flavor of the katsudon very well.
Since we also wanted refreshments on the side, we ordered fresh buko juice and Shingen ice cream.
The Shingen ice cream, on the other hand, was a bit of a letdown. Sure, it wasn't too sweet, and it used uniquely Japanese ingredients like soy bean powder. But as far as ice cream goes, it doesn't taste like anything you can't buy from a store.
Like most Japanese restaurants, Kimukatsu offers exceptional service. As soon as you enter the restaurant, waiters will greet you "Irrashaimase!" and you'll be led to the most comfortable seat they can offer at the time of your visit.
We wouldn't say they serve orders "fast," but they definitely serve them within a reasonable time frame. They'll serve you the drinks first, before dishing out the Kimukatsu set on a piecemeal basis. Since that's the case, it's almost impossible to get impatient while waiting for your order.
As each order is served, the waiters will say "Sumimasen (Excuse me)," to show consideration for the fact that you might be occupied with other matters before you receive your order. They'll also ask you every now and then whether you enjoyed your meal.
If you're looking for katsudon in Makati City, give Kimukatsu a try. Aside from their tasty dishes, the ambience and service will blow you away. Try their signature product for yourself, and see if it won't convert you to Japanese cuisine in general.
Address: 3/F Century City Mall, Century City, Kalayaan Avenue, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City
Opening Hours: 11:00 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. (Monday – Sunday), 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Monday – Thursday), 5:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Friday – Saturday), 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Sunday)
Telephone Number(s): (+63 2) 812-0333