Sando Bar Review: where the Japanese sandwich is king


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However a matcha and sticky rice shake additionally appears becoming with the cafe’s barely offbeat theme. (We have been seated at a ping pong desk, in any case).

It is simple to get distracted by the cool trappings on this grungy, mod-Japanese cafe, however everybody’s right here for one purpose – chef Naoya Shimada’s​ thick, golden katsu sandos. Japanese sandwiches (or sandos) have been flying underneath the radar in Sydney’s cafe scene.

Whereas Redfern’s Cafe Oratnek​ has been quietly paving the way in which for the crumbed pork sandwich, it is not till not too long ago that the sando has began headlining brunch menus in common spots like Paper Chicken and Devon on Barangaroo​ and North Sydney.

And now, due to Shimada, a whole cafe is dedicated to the artwork of the sando. The venue is co-owned by Jason Ang, who runs Tokyo Chicken and Osaka Buying and selling Firm – the place Shimada not too long ago labored as a sous chef. For Sando Bar, Shimada wished to carry parts of his favorite childhood meals to the menu.

“Rising up, we’d all the time eat Japanese omelette, rice and fish for breakfast,” he says. The katsu sando is a nod his late father’s favorite dish, tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) – a recipe that took him three months to good.

“Most atsus are constructed from loins or tenderloins. Lots of people would simply slice a complete loin into steaks. Whereas I reduce mine lengthwise down the center first so it is half the width of the loin however very thick.”

The plump, half moons of pork are then brined in shio koji (a tenderising liquid), rolled in panko crumbs and twice fried till the crust is a deep bronze.

Visually, the sando is a factor of magnificence. Hugged by crust-free slices of white bread, it has the type of protein-to-carb ratio that reminds you of pastrami sandwiches at an old style New York deli.

Regardless of the katsu’s thickness, we’re blown away by the juiciness of the meat. The key, says Shimada, lies within the temporary relaxation between the primary and second fry – a method that additionally permits the pork to remain tender and flavoursome whereas utilizing a lean, virtually fat-free reduce.

Savour every chunk with the crunchy cabbage, apple and fennel slaw, spliced with mustard mayo and a tangy Bulldog (or Japanese barbecue) sauce.

There’s loads extra to like from the compact all-day menu. A curried egg sando, for instance, is filled with rocket and spicy morsels of free vary eggs – a far cry from ghosts of your tuckshop previous.

Equally good is a breakfast sando with bacon and fluffy tamago​ (Japanese omelette).

The cafe already does a roaring takeaway commerce, with most sandwiches out there in a bento-style takeaway field, served with a facet of lotus root chips tossed in home made seven spices.

Those that select to dine in could discover themselves competing over a small batch of beef and Asahi pie. Made recent day by day, it is a Japanese tackle the hearty Irish traditional that is plump with four-hour braised chuck steak.

Espresso at Sando Bar comes from Little Marionette and is made by Shimada’s finest pal Jay Reyes (ex-Lox Inventory & Barrel). Whereas the kitchen finds its tempo within the early days, your katsu sando could include a little bit of a wait. It is powerful watching your neighbours sink their enamel into freshly-fried katsu on an empty abdomen. However what’s a bit ache for an excellent pork sandwich?


Most important points of interest: A Japanese sandwich specialist that serves up well-priced, Asian-influenced brunch choices just like the katsu (crumbed pork) and curried egg sandos.

Should strive: Chef Naoya Shimada’s thick, golden katsu sando – which can be out there in a bento to go.

Insta-worthy dish: An aerial view of the plump katsu sando, Watch the ‘likes’ flood in.

Drinks: Little Marionette Espresso $three.7-$four.2, Tippity Tea $four.2

Costs: Sandos from $7- $14, all-day lunch common $14-$16.

Hours: 7am-4pm



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