Ginza Bairin Lunch at Glorietta
As far as I’ve heard, there are currently the top three katsus in the Metro; we have Yabu (which I’ve been a loyal Patron of), Ginza Bairin (the current post you are reading :) ) and Saboten (
to be tried soon). For now, let’s focus on Ginza Bairin.
Ginza Bairin has its roots from Ginza, Tokyo waaaaayyyyy back in 1927. They have been making Katsus for nearly a century already and have finally expanded in the Philippines. They were voted as the #1 Donburi in a popular gourmet TV show in Japan so that makes their Katsudon a must try for me … but on my next visit as for this visit, it was all Katsu!
In terms of menu, there isn’t much difference between Yabu and Ginza Bairin. They both offer katsu sets with unlimited refills of rice, veggies and miso soup. This was also the same setup that I have experienced when I dined at a Katsu Restaurant on the streets of Shinsaibashi in Japan.
While browsing through the menu, they served us with hot tea and cold towels. So let’s start!
Ginza Bairin – Katsu Sando (PHP 215)
A katsu in between soft white bread. The sandwich spread tastes like mustard! Each bite was met with a light crunch! The katsu had the right amount of thickness so it won’t overpower the bread and still give you that amazing sandwich feel. Hot tea on my left hand, a piece of Katsu Sando on my right , both pinky fingers raised like a sir. Definitely a light snack to enjoy yessir!
Ginza Bairin – Rosu Katsu Set (PHP 345 Reg; PHP 395 Large)
I would have opted for large if not for the space taken up by the Katsu Sando.
To refresh our memories, Rosu means that it would have a thin layer of fat at the edge while Hire would be all lean meat! I usually pick Rosu because I like the taste of that guilty pleasure at the end of my katsu slice. So what can I say about Ginza Bairin’s katsu? Aside from the relatively less panko (breading), the taste, the crunch, the softness were indistinguishable from Yabu and that’s a good thing for me! You see, as mentioned in my first paragraph, it means more choices!
Aside from the crushed sesame seed with Tonkatsu sauce (2) , Ginza Bairin offers more choices to make your katsu dip.
- Special Tonkatsu sauce (default)
- Sesame Seeds with Tonkatsu Sauce
- Sesame Seeds with Himalayan Sea Salt
- Himalayan Sea Salt with Karashi (spicy)
My curious self wasn’t up to the task so I just went with option 2.
So here are some pics of what we ate for lunch that day.
This is what their katsu set looks like. Katsu in the middle surrounded by fruits, pickles, rice and miso soup.
Mixed Set B – Rosu, Hire and Prawn – PHP 425
Best of both worlds plus an Ebi (prawn). Now look at the size of that prawn! One of the biggest I’ve laid my eyes on.
Why I love Rosu Katsu. :)
Initially, I dined at Ginza Bairin with the purpose of comparing their Katsu to Yabu. I want to see how a local brand can match up to a foreign brand; and not just any foreign brand but a Japanese foreign brand! Overall, I found more similarities than differences. There isn’t much to compare between their katsus as both were very good! I enjoyed going through each slice of katsu while stuffing my mouth with shredded cabbage that has been swimming in roasted sesame sauce. The end result; solid and satisfied tummy.
As a consumer, just go to the one nearest to you. The only problem would be when they have branches in the same area… but in that case; flip a coin.
Till next time,
G/F Glorietta 2, Palm Dr
Ayala Center, Makati
Restaurant by Location: Glorietta