Sunday, July 01, 2012

Food review: Crazy Katsu

Today turned out to be one of those rare occasions wherein I left my virtual triangle. That's because for this review, I went all the way to:
In yet another foray into food blogging, I took out my camera to document my experience in Crazy Katsu, a Japanese restaurant off the border of Marikina and Antipolo. According to Pam, part-owner Shinji Tanaka, who is Japanese, used to serve chicken katsudon to bands that would use his recording studio, Sound Creation. They ended up requesting the dish all the time so that inspired him to open his very first restaurant.

First off, I liked what I saw in the menu:

Considering that Crazy Katsu is an authentic Japanese restaurant, I don't think the prices could get any better than this. Also, that photo is the entire menu, the minimalism of which was very refreshing: a) you are not paralyzed by a sheer number of choices; and b) there is no excuse for them not to get all the dishes right.

I originally wanted to order Pork Ginger but I eventually decided to go with what built this restaurant in the first place: the Chicken Katsu (P145):

I found the breading salty for my taste although to the dish's defense, I find myself to be salt-intolerant lately. (Also, no one else in our party shared my opinion.) Later, I realized that the trick was to take a bite of the chicken together with the cabbage shreds to diffuse the saltiness and balance the taste. Despite my initial impression, I still think it's yummy. Pam and Giff choose this over what I ultimately like below:

I'm putting my money on the Pork Ginger (P140), which to me, was more playful and yet subtle in its sweetness and tanginess. This one didn't need to be rescued by the cabbage and the dish tasted like a healthier option than the chicken.

Jill and her mom ordered the Sukiyaki (P190), which I've always personally found to be sweet. I only took a few sips and was quite satisfied with it.

The rest of the group ordered Fish and Vegetable Tempura, with the special request not to include vegetables and just add more fish (P140; staff was nice and accommodating about it), and Tonkatsu (P140):

I didn't get to taste them as I wasn't close with the kids who ordered them, lol.

Overall, we enjoyed a delicious meal, what I'd call comfort Japanese food. I especially like the restaurant's confidence and boldness to keep everything as pared down as possible without sacrificing quality, though I'm sure it would later realize that customers won't be coming back repeatedly for the same entrées. Of course, I could be wrong, and it that respect, it must mean it has the best katsu varieties in the city.

#48 Lilac St. Hacienda Heights, Concepcion Ⅱ, Marikina City
#81 Maginhawa St. UP Teacher’s Village, Diliman, Quezon City

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