Kimukatsu is another new player in the Manila Katsu wars. Manila seems to be seeing katsu and ramen shops opening left and right. This is good news for us consumers since we can pick and choose which one suits our tastes. Kimukatsu, a franchise from Japan brought in by the same owners of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen. They differentiate themselves by specializing in the “mille-feuille” style of tonkatsu, 25 layers of thinly sliced pork instead of the usual thick pork.
The first branch of Kimukatsu is located right beside the Ikkoryu Ramen branch at the 5th floor of Shangri-la Plaza’s East Wing. The interiors are mostly black with some pops of color like this mesmerizing mural of cherry blossoms, made up of many wooden blocks. I also saw a lot of Louis Ghost chairs by Kartell, not too sure if these are the real thing or just replicas since they are expensive.
You might notice a little hidden pathway across the mural, this leads to their hidden function rooms, accessible thru large stones. Walk some more and you’ll see this zen garden visible across Kettle.
Here’s what we had our first time at Kimukatsu.
Our dinner started with some of their appetizers like the Potato Salad (P130), light and creamy. We also tried the Kimutaku (P110), a mix of Korean kimchi and Japanese tako pickles. I surprisingly enjoyed that one despite not liking kimchi at all. I seem to have missed taking a photo of their unique Agedashi Tofu (P180), which I highly recommend. You might think its run of the mill but the coating is actually chewy and mochi like once its coated in sauce. The Ebi Mayo (P210) is breaded shrimp coated with a sweet mayo sauce, a squeeze of the lemon tempers the sweetness.
Kimukatsu offers 3 dipping sauces for their mille-feuille katsus; pink salt, ponzu and the usual sesame seed/tonkatsu sauce mix. Their tonkatsu sauce is a bit tangy but not as tangy as the one from Ginza Bairin. You can try and experiment which sauce you prefer with your particular flavor of tonkatsu.
Kimukatsu serves two kinds of miso soup, the red is much saltier and has a stronger flavor while the white is sweeter with a lighter taste. You can try each one and find out which you like best.
Shredded cabbage and steaming white rice are brought to the table, once you finish the serving, you can just ask the waitstaff for more. The rice comes in a insulated wood container that keeps it warm and fluffy.
They served us the 7 flavor Kimukatsu Assorted Set (P2,400) which comes with 6 rice sets. You can have your pick of whatever 25 layer flavored katsu you want but for first timers I’d suggest getting 1 of each so you can find out which one you like most. We had the Plain, Garlic, Black Pepper, Cheese, Negi Shio (spring onion and salt), Yuzu Kosho (yuzu fruit and green chili), and Ume Shiso (sour plum and shiso leaf). The pork is tender and juicy while still retaining that bit of crunch care of the panko bread crumbs.
My top 3 would be the Ume Shiso, Cheese and Black Pepper. The cheese, Irene’s favorite, oozes out in between the thin layers of pork. This should be a hit with kids also. I’ve always loved the taste, smell and flavor of shiso leaves so I knew I would really enjoy the ume shiso. The black pepper is a done a bit differently, with the black pepper coating the outside of the katsu, in between the bread crumbs and the meat. I’d avoid the Yuzu Kosho unless you like your katsu really spicy.
We finished our meal with some dessert. Soy Cotta (P180), Kurogoma Pudding (P110) and Japanese Pannacotta (P110). I found the soy cotta weird, with mismatched flavors that I could not appreciate. The kurogoma should appeal to people who like black sesame, not me though, I like my black sesame sparingly.
The Japanese Panacotta is the one I liked, it seems a bit paste like with a kinako (roasted soybean flour) and sesame seed topping. Dig into the pannacotta and you’ll know its super different from the Italian creations, this one is actually made of small tapioca.
The final dessert was a cold one, the Matcha Parfait (P235), a scoop of match (green tea) ice cream with red bean paste, chestnut and shiratama.Quite good but I was way too full to really enjoy it after polishing off the remaining Japanese pannacotta.
Don’t you just love these adorable take away boxes with a bus illustration for their Tonkatsu sandwich. These are very popular in Japan because people can just grab one box and go. They are available in Plain (P210) and Cheese (P230) versions.
I’ve been there twice, once upon their invitation and just last week with my Irene’s sister and nephew, both times have been enjoyable. The only quirk I encountered on the 2nd visit was the absence of the label flags for the katsu, no worries since we were not first timers. I’ll have to look out for that next time.
KimukatsuLevel 5 Shangri-la Plaza East Wing Shaw Boulevard cor.
EDSA Mandalyoung City
Telephone No.: (632) 727-0333
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