Tonkatsu Maisen in Greenbelt 5, Makati - the katsu war continues!
After a few weeks of not seeing each other, the FSRM New Hires Forevermore (NHFM) decided to have a catch-up dinner. This was held on the day after the night when the rain caused an intense traffic wherein people got stuck/stranded for 4-6 hours. As a matter of fact, it was still pouring hard that night, but we didn't mind it. We were really looking forward to see each other.
The place of choice was Maisen. We picked this one out because it just recently opened, plus we were really in a foodie-beast mode that night.
Tonkatsu Maisen is located along the stretch where you can find Torch Restaurant (read more) in Greenbelt 5. Given the structure of the place, Maisen only has a limited number of seats indoor. Hence, if you are coming in a group or during peak hours, you may be forced to dine outdoors. Well, I didn't mind it, but it was humid that night, making it slightly uncomfortable.
I tried shrugging it off, but it seemed like it really influenced my perception as well as my overall dining experience, but before we talk about the experience, let me just give you a preview of the dishes you may find here. Let's begin with the menchi katsu.
Cheese Minced Pork Katsu Set || P390
Cheese minced pork katsu served with rice, cabbage, pickle set, fruits and miso soup
This katsu was "okay", but I couldn't help but compare it with that of Yabu's (read more). Again, it was just fine, but with Yabu as the benchmark, I found it slightly tough (i.e. lacked tenderness and smoothness). As for the taste, it was indeed meaty with just a little lightness on the cheese.
Chicken Karaage Set || P325
Chicken karaage set served with rice, cabbage, pickle set, fruits and miso soup
This Chicken Karaage Set was another "okay" dish. Nothing was too special about it aside from it being a karaage. Well, honestly, I don't know what got over me, but I can't seem to appreciate most of the dishes here in Maisen. Hmmm, it was crispy and fresh, but there was something about the overall taste and experience that I found lacking. I'm getting confused, so maybe you can share your insights about this?
Stir-Fry Pork with Ginger Set || P350
Stir-fry pork with ginger served with rice, cabbage, pickle set, fruits and miso soup
This Stir-fry Pork with Ginger Set was great, and I appreciated that something like this available in a katsu place. For this dish, I just liked its sweet gingery taste. It something nice for a change. I only have one issue to raise with this one -- it's a somehow overpriced.
Tenderloin Katsu Set || P370 - 80g || P400 - 120g
Tenderloin katsu served with rice, cabbage, pickle set, fruits and miso soup
Now, this Tenderloin Katsu Set was the one I personally ordered. It got this thick breading that hugs the meat inside. The taste was just right, although I found the thickness of the breading too distracting, luring away your attention to it rather than the meat.
Also, you may choose between the katsu sauce and the Worcestershire sauce. I suggest that you blend the two because they produce a tangy flavor that goes well with the katsu.
Katsumabushi Set || P390
Bite-size Tenderloin katsu chops served with rice, Onsen Tamago, and Dashi stock
The Katsumabushi Set was pretty much interesting with all the glorious and tedious presentation. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try this one because the one who ordered this was far away from where I seated. Then, it was heartbreaking when my blogger friend Eugene Constantino of Hefty Foodie said that I should have ordered that one instead because it is the ultimate signature dish!
Well, this is still good because I have a reason to go back here in Maisen, and try this intriguing dish!
Now, that's most of this Maisen experience, thank you very much for visiting the blog, and for reading this blog post. I hope it helped you somehow.
Here is a photo of us, the FSRM New Hires Forevermore (NHFM), in Maisen, Greenbelt. We just love how clingy we are with each other. After all, nothing lasts forever, so we need to make every moment count.
Tonkatsu Maisen - Overall Ratings and Summary
Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. The ratings apply solely to this dining experience.
Value for Money ★★★☆
Budget: About P350-P450 each for a set of your own which includes the meat, unlimited rice, cabbage and soup
Overall, I found Maisen fairing slightly below expectations. It was a play of varying factors that made me end up with this assessment. First, dining outdoors didn't help especially that it was humid. Second, I couldn't help but compare my experience with that of Yabu, which for me is still the best. Third, I really was expecting a "something" in Maisen, but that something did not show up. All of these either directly or indirectly affected my experience.
Still, don't get me wrong, nothing was odd with the dishes. In fact, they were nice. It's just that reality and expectation didn't meet up. It's a sad love story. Anyway, all I was saying is that I will still be returning here in Maisen to taste the Katsumabushi Set, but as for the traditional katsu, I might stick with my old favorites.
Location: Ground Floor, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
Service Charge: 10% before VAT
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