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Katsumoto Sando Bar focuses on making the best sandos in town, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice of oversized sarnies bookended by Hokkaido milk bread and bathed in Kewpie mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce.
The first thing you’ll notice when wandering into Man Hing Lane towards the restaurant entrance is the towering presence of two colourful samurai. Indeed, Katsumoto’s name is derived from the film The Last Samurai, so naturally these large samurai artefacts form part of both Katsumoto and Katsumoto Sando Bar’s main displays.
The Kyoto-style roof welcoming diners is inspired by Bistro Concept owner Christopher Przemyski’s travels around Japan, Kyoto in particular. Combining the use of light and shadows from the wall art and surrounding greenery opposite the park, the sando bar channels the experience of travelling to foreign lands. The restaurant is definitely making its mark within the landscape of Man Hing Lane.
Inside, the design concept centres around fluidity and modularity whilst making the most of the limited space. Working with street artist Miguel Souchon, the restaurant is a stunning spot to get away from Hong Kong, if only for a meal. Two enormous, brightly coloured murals and an array of parasols on the ceiling are balanced by simple sofas and wooden furniture.
Then, of course, there is the menu. Your main must be a sando! But which one? Executive Chef Sean Mell, who cut his teeth at Nobu and Silencio prior to joining Katsumoto Sando Bar, has given us a number of luscious sando options.
You can order the famous Wagyu sando ($298) with Hokkaido milk bread, Kewpie mayo and tonkatsu sauce. Or perhaps consider the Chilean sea bass sando ($238) or even the pork katsu sando ($148), egg salad sando ($118) or tsukune sando ($158).
Those preferring a vegan option can choose from the Impossible sando ($168) and OmniPork sando ($158), which comes with a brioche bun, shredded cabbage, tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo.
Alongside these mains, cold dish choices include cucumber sunomono ($68), oshitashi ($98) and assorted Japanese pickles ($118) – all vegetarian.
Also on the menu, have you seen this drool-worthy picture of their chicken karaage ($138) going around? Heavenly! Consider trying the veg-friendly shishito peppers ($128) and edamame ($78) too.
Cannoli fans will be excited to hear that Katsumoto Sando Bar and local cult favourite Holy Cannoli will be collaborating for a joint pop-up lunch session in the coming weeks, with special flavours especially for this menu. Details to follow soon.
Shiso Ryoushi, The Geisha and Ocha No Jikan cocktails
For the thirsty, bar manager Dilip Thapa has got you covered. Originally from Nepal, he has spent nearly 15 years in HK. He started his bartending career at Armani Bar, and his cocktail specialities contain herbs, teas and seasonal fruits. Note that Katsumoto Sando Bar is currently awaiting its liquor licence and is not yet able to share these beautiful drinks with us. We will remove this notice as soon as they are available.
Shiso Ryoushi ($110) is made with shiso-infused whisky, Fernet Hunter, sweet vermouth, smoked applewood chips and a dash of bitters. Three-citrus cocktail Ocha No Jikan ($100) is created with citrus fruits, gin, Earl Grey tea and fresh rosemary aroma, topped with tonic. Also on the cocktail menu are Kyuri San ($100), made with gin, Midori, cucumber, lemonade, citrus, homemade lemongrass syrup and a mixture of pepper, shichimi, sansho and salt, and The Last Samurai ($110), mixed with whisky, rum, milk, Katsumoto herbs, lemon yuzu and homemade ginger syrup. The Geisha ($110) is made with sake, fresh pineapple, yuzu, basil, plum wine and lemon and sounds refreshingly perfect for a summer cocktail.
A set lunch is available during lunchtime on weekdays, where you can can enjoy sando set lunches from a selection including Wagyu, tsukune, OmniPork and Impossible beef for $158 (with an extra add-on of $140 for the Wagyu) or a chicken karaage set lunch ($158).
Katsumoto Sando Bar is brand-new, but if the original in Sai Ying Pun is any indication, we are expecting super-juicy, melt-in-the mouth Wagyu sandos and are looking forward to trying the new sando range. The karaage is just too tempting to ignore, and we have our eye on that smoky Shiso Ryoushi cocktail too.
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