Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yoshinoya's Seafood Menu for Lent

Yoshinoya is known as the place for Gyudon, Teriyaki, Katsudon and those other familiar Japanese dishes including their Bento meals. They now have over 1,200 outlets worldwide including countries like Japan, USA, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines. They used to have a branch in the Greenhills Shopping Center but that closed down, to my disappointment. On the bright side, their other branches are in malls that I frequent so I still have a chance to try their dishes.

For the entire Lenten period, Yoshinoya developed two seafood dishes. They had tied up with Century Bangus (Emerging Business Unit of Century Pacific Group) to create Bangus Kabayaki and Shrimp Katsu.

First, a little bit on the Century Bangus. The bangus are cultured in the pure waters of southern Mindanao. Unlike other bangus suppliers who grow bangus in ponds with stagnant water, Century Bangus fingerlings are kept in seawater cages that are suspended over the sea. Not only are the fingerlings kept in their natural habitat so that they grow fuller and meatier but the constant replacement and flow of sea water prevents that muddy taste you sometimes detect in bangus.

I tried the Bangus Kabayaki first and immediately loved it. At first glance, it actually looked like a meat dish because of its dark color. The Century Bangus' premium belly, the best part of the bangus, is specifically chosen for this dish. It is lightly breaded, deep-fried and thoroughly drenched in Kayabaki sauce, making every spoonful tasty. This dish is served up with beansprout over the rice. I really loved this dish and will order this on my next Yoshinoya visit.

Bangus Kabayaki (Php 140)

The second dish is Shrimp Katsu, or shrimp patties. The patties are breaded and fried to a crisp, drizzled with mayonnaise and served with mixed vegetables.

Shrimp Katsu
(Php 140 for shrimp and vegetables; Php185 in jumbo plate with Beef Bowl)

I was not that impressed with the Shrimp Katsu as much as I loved the Bangus Kabayaki. I found the patties pretty bland and these did not have that shrimp flavor I was expecting. I would  suggest to Yoshinoya to experiment with other toppings other than just mayonnaise because it did nothing to enhance the flavor of the patties. Maybe experimenting with tartar sauce or something that has more 'bite' to it would complement the blandness of the patties.

To wash down our meals, we were also treated to Yoshinoya's popular green tea.

Green Tea (Php 30 regular, Php 35 large)

And the final touch was dessert. We had a choice of Chocolate or Strawberry Mousse. I went for the strawberry one since chocolate is the more common flavor. 

Strawberry Mousse
While the Strawberry Mousse cream topping was soft and yummy, I was a bit surprised to find out that their chocolate base was a hard Oreo cookie. I think Yoshinoya needs to reevaluate changing their base to a soft one. It also makes eating the dessert easier because with my large spoon, I found myself exerting more effort upon hitting that Oreo to cut down the cookie so I could eat it with the creamy topping.

Bangus Kabayaki and Shrimp Katsu are only available for the Lenten period so do find time to go try these dishes out for yourself.

Yoshinoya branches:
SM Megamall (Lower Ground, Bldg. A): 632-1276, 632-1352
SM North EDSA (2/F Main Bldg.): 920-8177, 927-3525
SM Mall of Asia (G/F North Wing): 556-2649, 556-4049
Robinsons Galleria (Level 1 East Wing): 635-2206
Park Square 1: 893-8176, 893-8178

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