Katsu Sora located at the 2nd Floor of Promenade in Greenhills is the newest entrant to the Manila katsu wars. It is from the same owners as Ramen Santouka, actually there is a branch of beside it. Too bad you can’t cross order to satisfy everyone’s cravings, be it ramen or katsu. I’ve also seen a board up in Trinoma, that will open soon with the same dual store setup. Irene and I decided to try out this place after doing some errands in Greenhills.
The restaurant seating area is shaped like an L and can seat more or less 40 in the same reclaimed wood style furniture as Santouka. We were seated on the left side near the entrance, which was a bit cramped.
Katsu Sora serves 4 kinds of pork; Iberico, Shimofuri, Kurobota and Sakura and no local variety. Irene and I decided to order 2 that were not available in other katsu restaurants. Each set comes with unlimited salad, soup, rice and fruits. If you opt for the ala carte katsu’s, you can add it for P250 per person, better to just order the sets in my opinion.
Each set you order comes with unlimited salad, rice, soup and dessert. You build your salad by yourself and can choose from the assorted greens like Romaine, Lolo Rosa and the by now de rigueur, shredded cabbage. Sliced cucumber, broccoli florets cherry tomatoes and corn kernels can also be added to your DIY salad. A bowl of potato salad is also included for those that don’t want anything to do with leafy vegetables. You can choose from 4 different sauces, Japanese Thousand Island Dressing, Japanese Caesar Dressing, Japanese Wasabi Dressing and Soy Sesame.
This is also where the fruits (orange and watermelon) for dessert are placed.
Beside the salad bar is two rice cookers. The left one contains regular Japanese rice while the one on the right side contains the Gokokumai/Japanese 5-grain rice. 3 containers of furikake are provided to top on the white rice, it adds texture and different flavors.
The last section contains two curios looking contraptions, which automatically dispenses miso soup. They have a total of 7 different variants that they rotate, the ones we had that day was Shikokoji and Iriko Dashi. Just push the button and watch your soup bowl fill up with your choice.
Here’s my Iberico Pork Tonkatsu Set (P655/120 grams) which comes with unlimited rice, soup and the usual katsu accoutrements. The breading is is nice and crispy and had no oily after taste, closer to the ones at Ginza Bairin than the ones from Yabu. The meat is tender but still had a bit of a bite. Flavor wise, this was the best katsu I’ve ever had but sadly it comes at at a price, not something you can eat every day.
The set also comes with a bowl of extra special Juugokokumai rice, a 15 grain Japanese rice with lots of healthy benefits. It’s kinda like brown rice but even better.
Irene pick was the Shimofuri Pork Tonkatsu Set (P450/120 grams). The set came exactly the same as mine except that it only had regular steamed rice. This was did not meet our expectations after the menu trumpeted its marbling. The meat is not even as tender as the regular rosu katsu at Yabu and there was even one piece that we left because it was either all fat or it was fried too long, soaking in all the oil. Irene said she’ll try the Sakura pork from Canada when we go back.
Our Katsu Sora experience was good but we’ll have to come back to try more of the dishes including the katsudon, curries and Mille Feuille (a layered katsu). My biggest complaint is with the cramped seating area, I think they maximized the seating area too much. The cramped spacing would be ok if this were the regular katsu restaurant where the refills would be brought to the table. Katsu Sora makes you get your refills by yourself which is doubly hard to do in the cramped area. I hope the soon to open one in Trinoma has a better layout.
Katsu Sora2/F Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center San Juan City , Philippines Telephone : (63) 915-874-1990 Operating Hours: 11am to 11pm daily