The thing with having a long summer break is that there is plenty of time to do anything.
Now that the next school year is just around the corner, I called up my bff Reena to aura and ariba our way while we have yet to be consumed by papers, homework and exams. Since it has also dawned to her that we only have a couple of weeks left to make the most of our summer holiday, she agreed (she had no choice anyway lol) I suggested we have our date at Greenbelt because where’s a better place to aura and ariba than Greenbelt? I also thought we could finally give the latest tonkatsu place in town, Maisen, a visit~
On the morning of Wednesday (the day we agreed on), the sky was painted grey and it was raining cats and dogs. It felt as though I was about to take an exam that I had not prepared for. We decided that if the rain wouldn’t come to a cease by 10:30, we would rain check our lunch and have it on another day instead. However, the universe was on our side and by 10:30, the sun was out! I couldn’t be more thankful. I phoned Reena and literally sang to her the chorus of I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash.
We got there at exactly 12 on the dot and had our name listed on the waiting list since their fryer got broken that morning and was still undergoing reparation. Thankfully, after an hour, the fryer had finally been fixed and we were seated! Maisen is a Japanese word which means, go for it and the Manila franchise is owned by none other than the man behind Bench and Suyen Corporation, Mr. Ben Chan. The flagship stores in Japan, on the other hand, is founded by Mrs. Koide in 1965 but later sold it to Suntory Holdings Ltd.
When we got to the inside, my initial reaction was that it looked like a high-class tonkatsu place and immediately loved the ambience.
I had the Pork Sukiyaki Set, which was served with tenderloin katsu, rice, a pickle set, fruits and miso soup.
Pork Sukiyaki Set (P520.00). I’d give this:
The soup was kinda cold when it arrived. It tasted like the usual sukiyaki, but I loved the set altogether because it came with a tenderloin katsu and the miso soup was really delicious. The price is not bad as well.
Meanwhile, Reena had the Katsumabushi Set, which consists of bite-size Tenderloin Katsu chops served with rice, onsen tamago, and dashi stock. This can be enjoyed in three ways: Option 1 – Put the rice and the katsu in the bowl and have it as it is, Option 2 – same as Option 1, but with toppings (spring onions, sesame seeds, wasabi), Option 3 – same as Option 2, but with the broth poured on it. It’s like it keeps getting better and better!
Katsumabushi Set (P390.00). I’d give this:
Reena opted to have it a la Option 3 to get the full experience! Kakain ka nalang rin, all the way na dapat!
Upon having the first bite, she nudged me and said, “Grabe ang sarap nito, here have a try!” And indeed, it was! Haha! You’ll keep coming back to it because it’s so unusual; the good kind of unusual 😉 Plus, it’s quite cheap na for a set like this!
We shared the Mixed Katsu Set which had a Mini Tenderloin Katsu, Prawn Katsu and Potato Croquette served with rice, cabbage, pickle set, fruits and miso soup.
Mixed Katsu Set (P495.00). I’d give this:
What sets Maisen apart from other tonkatsu places is that their coating is very thin and soft, and their meat is very tender! It was quite a delight for Reena and I, who have braces. We loved the prawn katsu, it’s so flavorful and fresh!
We discovered this groundbreaking seasoning in Maisen! It’s salt + spices and it’s the best!!!! Sprinkle it on your rice or katsu and oh my gosh the flavors will just burst inside your mouth because it enhances the katsu instead of overpowering it!
I’D GIVE THIS SEASONING 5 DES POINTS.
It’s definitely the go-to katsu place in Manila for its distinct katsus that can only be tasted in its branches! Good news for those near SM Megamall and SM North EDSA because they’re opening respective branches there soon!
G/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi St., Legazpi Village, Makati
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm (Mon-Sun)
Budget: About P1000.00 for two people
Contact No.: (+632) 239-0390