A few years back the Philippine Japanese restaurant market changed for the better with the addition of tonkatsu chains from Japan coming over and opening their branches here. I'd say they were very welcome additions for the foodie demographic.
Some of the big chains are Yabu, Saboten, Maisen, Tonkatsu by Terazawa, and little mom and pop shops with authentic Japanese chefs or Japanese-trained chefs have also opened up their little tonkatsu places all over the PH. Needless to say tonkatsu is one of the many things I get immense pleasure from especially if the quality of the pork is great, the cabbage fresh, and the pickles lovely.
I think Maisen was the latest to open here with THE Ben Chan behind it and their first store opened in the posh Greenbelt location.
One hot summer day when I was running errands and debating where to eat lunch solo, I decided to make myself comfortable at Maisen. I like the coziness of their interiors and the fact that when I was shown to my table, I was immediately offered either hot or cold house tea and a cold towel to refresh myself. I appreciate these little comforts. For me, it speaks about the thoughtfulness of the restaurant.
I was debating whether to get the Kurobuta tenderloin katsu set or just the plain tenderloin katsu set (which is what I normally get in tonkatsu restaurants) when I saw something interesting in the last few pages - one of Maisen's specials which was a Katsumabushi set. It included tenderloin bite-sized katsus over rice served together with dashi stock, onsen tamago, and a delightful variety of side condiments (sesame seeds, wasabi, and green onions) that I decided to just order it. I usually am quite visual with the food I order so this one caught my eye.
There are also instructions on how you can enjoy the Katsumabushi set so you needn't worry should you decide to try this out on your next tonkatsu craving. I tried to eat it in all the ways they instructed in the menu so I could figure out how I wanted to eat it. You can just eat it however way you want but the best one for me would be to put the rice and katsu piece in the bowl provided, sprinkle sesame seeds, dab a little of the wasabi, put some green onions, then pour the dashi stock on it. This was how I preferred it. One more thing I loved in this set was the Onsen tamago!! This foodie just has a penchant for eggs. ;)
I liked what I had here and I loved that the lunch crowd wasn't in yet so I got to enjoy my katsu in peace. Raring to go back to check out the quality of their other katsu sets to compare with my Yabu, Saboten, and Tonkatsu by Terazawa experience.