If you want good Malaysian food, ask Malaysian friends. And if you want good Japanese food, no doubt the Japanese are the ones you should ask. Japanese food in particular, I found most of the good ones are hidden from the public and only the local Japanese who have been living in Sydney for a long time will know where to find them. Thanks to my newly converted foodblogger friend, Yas (Hungry Digital Elf), who recently introduced us to these tasty katsusando made by one of his friends, Hiro, the owner of Atomic Espresso, which is a sister cafe of Japaz, another restaurant also owned by Hiro San.
When there is Japanese food, there is also Richard (Here comes the food), a self-claimed hardcore fan, who is always ready to go the extra mile just so he can try out the food first hand. Even he claims that this is one of the best katsusando he have had in Sydney. He is more than happy to share the goodness and volunteered to go through all the trouble, orders four katsusando and brings them all the way into city to share with the boys including simon (the heart of food), during my exhibition at the gallery recently.
Katsu = deep fried pork cutlet, Sando = Sandwich. Katsusando, is basically a simple Japanese sandwich with deep fried crumbed pork cutlet sandwiched between two layers of soft fluffy white bread. But good katsusando takes time to make, because these big boys need to be ordered by phone call one hour prior to pick up. That’s when teamwork comes into play – a simple quick call by Yas to his friend, within an hour the katsusando is ready to be picked up by Richard on his way to meet us at the gallery. I am ready to try these big boys and see what the fuss is about.
The Katsusando is definitely best to eat in-house when it is straight out of the kitchen. Those being delivered are quartered and jam-packed inside a plastic takeaway container. Unfortunately the condensation got the best of it, as the bread is tad soggy at parts when we opened it.
First thing I noticed is the pork cutlet which is actually thicker than the bread, deep fried to a perfect crispy golden brown. I actually found the pork cutlet is a little on the dry side, but nothing can’t be solved by a good spread layer of wholegrain mustard and tonkatsu sauce on each side, then sandwiched between the Japanese thick slice white bread which is sweeter than usual. It is so soft and fluffy that even fingers can easily moulded into the bread by holding it for a long period of time.
Katsusando is also accompanied with pickled gherkin on the side, a typical pre-meal entree as an appetite opener. It’s vegetable, gotta be healthy, right? 🙂
To conclude our little Japanese lunch affair, Yas and Richard also kindly brought along some Japanese sweets for dessert. Yas insisted that we should give this Funwari Meijin, a “rice crisp balls” a try. The little ball of air is coated in kinako soy bean powder which tasted a bit like peanut flavour. It’s magic! It simply dissolves into nothingness once you put inside the mouth. It also comes in different flavour like Mitarashi Dango, Cheese, Egg (custard), Black Sesames.
Richard’s contribution of loquat jelly which is supposedly to be good for you? The jelly is extremely fragile and bouncy, peeling the lid off the packet without having the juice squirting on your shirt can be a challenge. I like the subtle sweetness and the loquat tasted a bit like peach.
If you want to give the katsusando a try, make sure you give them a call an hour earlier prior to pick up. Bit of warning, the katsusando is not for the faint hearted.
Atomic Espresso 148 Wycombe Road Neutral Bay 2089 Ph: (02) 9953 0666