Ginza Bairin

(Hey guys! Sorry if I’ve been really slow when it comes to updating this blog lately >_< Was really busy this week thanks to work T_T)

We finally tried out Ginza Bairin in UP Town Center, yet another contender in the local katsu race. Our original plan was to go to Café Shibuya, but I had to change my mind because a very famous TV personality was filming her show in one of the neighboring restaurants. I was feeling nervous because she might end up paying a visit to Café Shibuya and conduct an impromptu interview with me and my family or something. (I don’t even know why I came up with that ridiculous theory ._.)

… *coughs* Aaaaaaaanyway, Ginza Bairin has been around since 1927. It was established by a pharmacist named Nobukatsu Shibuya (from his name alone you can already tell that he’s going to be one of the pioneers of the katsu industry in Japan). Since he works with medicine, he wanted to create a type of katsu that gave people health benefits, but was delicious at the same time. The sauce used for his katsu came from his own recipe.

Meanwhile, a descendant of Mr. Shibuya, Masaya Shibuya, was the one responsible for bringing Ginza Bairin to other countries such as Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the US.

Really loving both the interior and the exterior.

Menu: Ginza Bairin sets (pork & chicken, seafood, menchi, assorted), Katsudon sets, Katsu curry, A la carte, Katsu sando, Appetizers, and Dessert.

Mom and I tried their Rosu Katsudon Set – Hailed as the number one donburi in Japan. And rightfully so! The katsu pieces were so tender, with a thick layer of fat. The sauce gives it some extra flavor. The Koshihikari rice was fantastic and chewy too.

This katsudon has received praises from some of Japan’s best food programs like ‘VVV6’ and ‘Tokyo Restaurant Guide’, as well as famous Japanese chefs like Rokusaburo Michiba (his name may seem familiar to you if you’re a huge fan of Iron Chef Japan, like yours truly).

As mentioned earlier, Nobukatsu Shibuya is the man responsible for creating Ginza Bairin’s signature katsu sauce, using 20 different spices and ingredients. The katsu is also fried in cottonseed oil, which has zero trans-fat.

Dad had their Menchi Katsu with Cheese Set. Menchi Katsu is also known as minced cutlet, and is made out of ground pork – I guess that’s the reason why the meat was more tender than the one in our katsudon.

I’m not gonna lie here – Ginza Bairin is one of the best katsu places in Manila, in my opinion. From the interiors, to the menu design, to the food itself – Everything is just spectacular! I can’t wait to come back.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste) 5/5 (presentation)

Ginza Bairin is located at UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. You can also find them at Glorietta 2 and Trinoma.

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