The very humble combination of steak and bread.
Wagyu sandos. Need we say more? Aromatic wafts of toasted, buttery bread and the sizzle of a deliciously marbled slice of beef instantly comes to mind. How can it not be a favourite? An order for a mid-afternoon treat? Sure. A tasty side to al-fresco, harbour-view cocktails? Yes, please! It’s a deceivingly simple combination that is flavour-checked in every satisfying bite. Don’t mind us, we’ll be sando-hopping across the city this weekend in search of all the best spots dishing up this classic, no-fault combo.
Katsumoto’s take is somewhat an original; the Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood izakaya is helmed by chef Sean Mell, previously at Silencio (where the sandos were signatures — more below) and The InterContinental’s Nobu. The wagyu sando here (HK$288) is a tried-and-true recipe: breaded Australian M5 wagyu steak wedged between soft and pillowy Hokkaido milk bread. Finely veiled layers of tangy tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise gels the two together. A delicious bite, rest assured.
Extra: Katsumoto has expanded with a fully dedicated sando bar in the heart of Soho — perfect for those only-Central diners. Here, at Katsumoto Sando Bar, expect only the signature sarnies on the menu. The wagyu beef (HK$298) makes a sure-fire appearance, yet so do other iterations including pork katsu, Chilean sea bass (HK$238) and tsukune (chicken meatball) (HK$158).
Katsumoto, various locations including G/F, 70 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Cut Sando Sound Bar
What happens when good tunes meet good sandos? The birth of Cut Sando Sound Bar, one would presume. Head-bopping, live DJ tracks (for a preview, listen here) are scrubbed with the same importance of the bite-sized breaded sandwiches, which come in a scrummy range of beef brisket, bacon, a seasonal grilled octopus and classic, no-fuss tamago. There’s a secret filling, too, but you’ll have to head over to check it out yourself. Not-to-be-missed sides: The cheese fritters, homemade okonomi fries and selection of natural wines.
Cut, 8-10 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
You’re probably familiar with Wagyumafia, Tokyo-based beef experts. After all, shots of a side-eyeing chef with a camera-focused plate of the beautifully marbled cuts have somewhat become very iconic signature of the brand. The sandos here are expert and entirely splurge-worthy; one serving will set you back HK$800 (or HK$400 for half), but one bite into the unctuous, tonkatsu-fried Miyazaki beef will all be worth it. The perfect, pink-in-the-middle sear is certainly a winner.
Wagyumafia, G/F, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2608 0677
The Charcoal Room
Before you doubt the authenticity of this sando (HK$318), being from a Korean eatery and all, hear it out. Looks wise, it’s identical to its Japanese counterpart with a perfectly pink sear and two thin, lightly golden, toasted sandwiches on either side. Good bread to batter to beef proportions. Now for the star of the dish: the wagyu. Fortunately, cuts here at The Charcoal Room are of premium standards; the restaurant prides itself on having some of the best barbecue cuts around town — the Chinese oak charcoal grill is its signature. As for the chunky slab in the middle of this sando: An A5 Kumamoto beef tenderloin. It’s all about the beef and the bread anyway.
The Charcoal Room, various locations including Shop 301, 3/F, Island Beverley, 1 Great George Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. +852 2320 9993
Trust that you’ve patronised this Black Sheep favourite at some point. Fukuro, the group’s designated Japanese izakaya is beloved for its modern, casual plates and boozy highballs. Between plates of the owl-stamped Monaka ice-cream sandwich (you’ve got to guess the flavour!) and signature crispy caramel butter corn, bet you didn’t know this eatery serves a special wagyu sando (HK$208), off-menu. The wagyu tenderloin is marinated for two hours and coated in panko for that satisfying crunchy exterior and pillow-soft interior bite. Served with a drizzle of katsu sauce and karashi mayo — in limited portions only.
Fukuro, G/F, Winly Building, 1-5 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2333 8841
The consummate exemplar of a wagyu sando, Silencio’s version (HK$388) — A4 wagyu tenderloin, a spot of Kewpie mayo and katsu sauce bookended by thin slices of Hokkaido milk bread — is a winning favourite beyond the LKF Tower izakaya hangout. A classic that’s most certainly to be had. To venture a little fancier on your next sando fix, ‘The Boujee Wagyu Sando’ here is one that will satisfy. Not your average sarnie, as you can probably guess, but a decadent quartet of exquisite bite-size cubes with tip-top garnishes: sprinkles of caviar, spoonfuls of uni, slices of foie gras torchon and shavings of Autumn truffle.
Silencio, 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2480 6560
It’s not the dark, moody den of izakaya sandos here at Piqniq. No, it’s all about open air, breezy, laid-back lifestyle that accompanies the alfresco dining experience. Even better being sky-high atop H Queen’s for the breathtaking city vantage. And right on cue with the theme, the wagyu sandwiches (HK$428) here — an A4 Miyazaki beef edition — arrive upon a dainty wicker basket and, in true picnics-in-the-summer style, red and white checkered blankets. An order of ice-cold beverage, a good slouchy bean bag and you’re set for a wonderful afternoon in the sunshine.
Piqniq, R/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, +852 5200 1683
The construction of a typical wagyu sando can be broken down into two parts: the beef and the bread. The trick is striking a perfect balance. At Nikushou, home to yakiniku specialists, the sandwiches (HK$418) are taken pretty seriously. Delicate cuts of Hida wagyu tenderloin are expertly fried with a light panko coating and sit snugly — perfectly, in our opinion — between the buttery-soft brioche pillows from Bakehouse. Half portions are available, but why would you deny yourself the extra slice?
Nikushou, 22/F, Zing!, 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2387 2878