Saboten Japanese Cutlet at Serendra

The boys and I visited Saboten at Serendra a few nights ago to get a taste of their version of tonkatsu. It was our first time to try Saboten. My boys are very much into tonkatsu as of late. They're more than willing to dine at any restaurant that has the said dish in their menu.

There was quite a long line when we got to Saboten. We were 12th on their list. We waited for a little over forty minutes before we got a table. We didn't mind at all. We were actually expecting it since we knew that a lot were very much eager to try their dishes.

Inside the cruets: citrus sauce {left} and sesame sauce {right}. The spicy mustard is inside small stainless steel container; beside that is the coarse sea salt.

The tonkatsu is heavily dependent on its sauce. Saboten's tonkatsu sauce has the right amount of tangy and sweet flavor. I particularly like that it's less dense, affording us to coat the katsu easily and evenly. If you want to add a little kick to your sauce, you can put some mustard in it.

One set meal includes shredded cabbage, pickles, rice and miso soup. They can all be refilled to your belly's content! I prefer my shredded cabbage doused with the sesame dressing. Saboten's sesame dressing is not as rich tasting as one would hope, but it was good nonetheless.

In a nation of rice eaters, providing the customers the perfect cooked rice is a must. Unfortunately, there are still quite a bunch of establishments that fail to do this. Saboten's gohan was aromatic and had the right bite to it.  
Pork Loin Karaage  PhP 275

Golden, crispy Pork Loin Karaage! The deep-fried dish was flavorful, tender and juicy, but was too greasy for my liking. 

Tenderloin Set {Small}  PhP 375

Our youngest ordered Saboten's signature menu: The Tenderloin Set. It comes in three sizes: large, medium and small. Covered in crispy panko breading, the tender meat was cooked well. There wasn't a whisper of grease. Dipped in the sauce, the coated tender meat becomes a thrill to eat!

Saboten Special Set  PhP 525

Special points to restaurants who have sampler sets such as Saboten's Special Set. This is very helpful and great for first timers. You can try the different katsu versions in small portions and choose which one you're going to come back for next time. It includes deep-fried shrimp, loin cutlet, tenderloin cutlet and crab cream croquette {below}. I like all except for the crab cream croquette. The consistency of the filling was too thin and there was barely a trace of crab meat inside.

Grated Radish Tenderloin Set   PhP 425

This is one creative katsu dish! The individual flavors of the ingredients created a harmonious explosion of taste. Saboten switched the usual lemon wedge with grapefruit. Honestly, I can barely tolerate eating grapefruit on its own. Surprisingly enough, I found it good when combined with the juicy tenderloin, grated radish, ponzu sauce and chopped scallions.

You knew this was coming, right? Well, I can't help but compare Saboten to Yabu, because after all, Yabu set a pretty high standard in terms of food quality and service; plus, Yabu commenced the katsu craze in the Philippines. Saboten's dishes are good, but Yabu's dishes are better. I think the latter harmoniously blends with the Pinoy palate more. 

Yabu did a good job in dominating social networking sites. Actually, they did an exemplary job. But just like a lemon wedge or a grapefruit wedge {in Saboten's case}, these are all enhancements. You cannot enhance something that cannot be enhanced. Costumers are smart. A buzz, no matter how good, will not make someone a regular customer.

Service is very important to me. I go to a restaurant not just for the food, but for the overall experience. If food's my only reason for going, then I will just order one and eat it inside my car or better yet, order in. Yabu knows and takes into serious consideration the kind of industry {hospitality} they are in. Their service is fit for royalty. They are in the business of pleasing.

Saboten Philippines
Ground Floor, Serendra
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines

Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday 11am to 11pm

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