Header image courtesy of Sando Bā (Facebook)
Originally published by Ching Yuen. Last updated by Catharina Cheung.
While the traditional Japanese katsu sando (カツサンド, short for “katsu sandwich”) reigns supreme for taste buds across the globe, Hongkongers are suckers for beef and anything new, so the sando craze is never really over for us. How can we not crave for deep-fried meat sandwiched between two pieces of perfectly toasted bread? Here’s our guide to the best sandos in town, from Wagyu and chicken to eggs and more!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the panko-breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet katsu sando is less widespread and harder to find in our city, given Hongkongers’ obsession with beef, but there is one restaurant that stays true to the tradition: Takumi by Daisuke Mori.
Led by its acclaimed namesake, this French-Japanese fine-dining establishment serves up an off-menu katsu sando with tender Okinawa Sangen pork and smeared with a house-made tomato relish. Available on request only, it must be pre-ordered when making your reservation.
Takumi by Daisuke Mori, Shop 1, G/F, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 5599 8133
Local favourite Yardbird is always guaranteed to be a good night out, and this award-winning yakitori establishment draws crowds from overseas as well. Tables and dishes are on a first-come, first-served basis—and strictly no reservations—so be sure to get there early with the whole party to grab their mild-melting chicken katsu sando ($90). An off-menu special of two halves of a sandwich served on a skewer, it’s paired with a perfectly balanced tonkatsu sauce that will have your taste buds screaming in delight.
Yardbird, G/F, 154–158 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2547 9273
Another unlikely place to find a katsu sando is at Okra. Innovative Japanese fusion cuisine is the best way to describe what chef Max Levy is dishing up at this slopeside tavern, and whatever magic they’ve managed to brew up in the kitchens is a clear winner, as everything on the menu here is utterly delectable. Their El Pollo Loco Fried Chicken Samich ($148) is a crowd-pleaser—they plate a whole marinated chicken thigh and leg on an Okinawan purple sweet potato bun with fresh cabbage and slather it in Louisiana-style Crystal Hot Sauce.
Okra, G/F, 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2806 1038
As the newest addition to the sando scene, Wagyu Ya takes our breath away with some of the best next-level Wagyu katsu sandos in Hong Kong. Their signature “HLJ” A5 Wagyu sando ($388) is served with a thick slice of juicy and marbled Wagyu beef, but the real eye-catcher is the 2.0 “HLJ” A5 Wagyu sando ($190), which comes in a smaller portion but is topped off with generous slabs of sea urchin on top. Bathed in illuminating pink neon, the chic and contemporary interiors serve as the perfect backdrop for your Wagyu affair. Why argue when you can have Wagyu?
Wagyu Ya, G/F, 29A Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2982 2522
What used to be a special off-menu item in Fukuro available only on select days has now become a staple by popular demand. Bless their Wagyu sando ($218), a stack of tender and ferociously delicious breaded Wagyu beef with a simple preparation process: the Wagyu is lightly fried to retain the luscious red colour of the meat and then held together with two slices of crispy toasted bread. Perfect for an early dinner or a late-night snack after a night out.
Fukuro, G/F, Winly Building, 1–5 Elgin Street, Central | (+852) 2333 8841
The artsiest sando of all can be found in the artsiest rooftop bar, Piqniq, which serves the traditional Japanese sandwich with polka-dot pumpkins and stunning views! Their signature Miyazaki beef sando ($428) comes in an Instagrammable wooden bento box, which in turn comes in a picnic basket if you are enjoying it as a dine-in option on the lounges or beanbags on the deck.
The marbling on the award-winning Miyazaki beef is second to none and guarantees a melt-on-your-tongue experience you’ll be hard-pressed to forget. Paired with lush greenery and stringed lights, this luxurious picnic comes out to be a truly otherwordly flavour encounter.
Piqniq, Rooftop, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 5200 1683
Offering some of the best barbeque meats in town, The Charcoal Room’s claim to fame is their specialisation in using Chinese oak charcoal in their grills. To up their meat game, their newly-launched Wagyu katsu sando ($258) is the perfect contender to satisfy beef cravings. Using A5 Kumamoto beef tenderloin cuts, you get four juicy bites toasted to perfection. If you’re still hungry afterwards, add an order of their barbecued meat and get to grilling!
Silencio’s no-nonsense Wagyu sando ($350) is always the right choice, and pairing it with a side of jazz just makes the whole experience even more memorable. We’re talking a buttery Miyazaki A4 Wagyu tenderloin sandwiched between Hokkaido milk bread with kewpie mayonnaise and katsu sauce, enough to stop anyone in their tracks. Grab your pals to share the sando with, or you might even decide to challenge the whole deal solo.
Silencio, 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central | (+852) 2480 6569
Though it may seem that way, Wagyu sandos don’t always have to be prohibitively expensive, and Maruju Aburi Farm proves that point. Their Wagyu katsu sando ($158) takes grass-fed, pure-blood Australian Wagyu and transforms it into a lovely sando without the staggering price tag. Given that they are a yakiniku (焼き肉; grilled meat) restaurant, there’s only one correct way to leave Maruju Aburi Farm—cradling our labouring food babies in our arms!
Maruju Aburi Farm, Shop 342D, 3/F, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West, Mong Kok | (+852) 3619 1768
Bistro Concept Group’s latest addition to the Soho dining scene draws heavily on modern Japanese street food for its vibrant menu, presenting toothsome comfort food in an upbeat setting of colourful parasols, energetic murals, and a lively atmosphere where the entire neighbourhood feels welcomed.
Helmed by chef Sean Mell, who cut his teeth at Nobu and Silencio, Ninjito features a mouthwatering Wagyu sando ($248), a duo of thick-cut Wagyu slabs sandwiched in-between moderate slices of flavourful Hokkaido milk bread. Slathered in tonkatsu sauce and Japanese kewpie mayonnaise, this one’s a stunner.
Ninjito Mexican Ninja, Basement, 67 Hollywood Road, Behind Man Hing Lane Building, Soho, Central | (+852) 2511 6860
A sophisticated Wagyu eatery in the heart of Causeway Bay, Wagyu Vanne by Gosango offers Wagyu set menus or à la carte items for dinner. Their Hiyama katsu sando ($498) uses beef sourced from Hiyama Subprefecture in Hokkaido and they choose to use only the chateaubriand cut for the sando, limiting this mouth-watering dish to a mere 10 servings every night, so make sure you come early equipped with a healthy appetite.
Wagyu Vanne by Gosango, 1/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2885 0533
Combine the best of Japanese Kappo and French cuisines and you get Marble Kappo. What is Kappo cuisine, you ask? It is said to have originated in Osaka and simply refers to a style of cooking where chefs prepare the food right in front of the diner, much like omakase. Marble Kappo uses premium Ozaki beef, a variety of high-grade Wagyu cattle that grow on a diet of 15 different feeds and matured until they are about 28 to 36 months old. With just 30 cattle produced per month, there is no doubt that Marble Kappo serves only the best of the best—with an appropriate price tag.
The Ozaki beef sandwich is one of the dishes served on Marble Kappo’s premium Shimo ($1,800) dinner set menu, but you can also find a cheaper alternative in the Saku ($1,580) dinner set menu with the Miyazaki beef sandwich. If the cost is a little hard to swallow, there’s always the more reasonably-priced Miyazaki beef sandwich set ($488) for lunch.
Marble Kappo, 1/F, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay | +852 2650 8988
When it comes to the sando craze in Hong Kong, the phenomenon can be cleanly divided into the time before sando masters Wagyumafia launched their first pop-ups in town and the time after. The unbelievable hype truly hit its peak when Wagyumafia opened their restaurant in Hong Kong and started serving the most expensive katsu sandos in the world to hungry Hong Kong diners.
What started out as a members-only restaurant has now extended to anyone with a stacked enough wallet, giving patrons instant access to menus like the omakase course ($1,800). There are perks to being a member, however, in the form of an exclusive members-only course menu ($2,600).
Wagyumafia, G/F, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2812 0500
Tucked away upstairs in one of Causeway Bay’s many blocks, Japanese lodge-style watering hole Lounge Hakuba brings us a café and light dining concept in The Alp. With Japanese ingredients and fusion twists, expect to find reinvented twists on brunch-type dishes, including their signature beef sando ($108) featuring slow-cooked beef striploin and crispy onions in a thick Japanese shokupan bread, served with homemade barbecue sauce for an extra tang.
The Alp, Unit 302, 3/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2111 1707
Fans of the Tai Kwun café Between will be glad to know that they’re doing a pop-up at Haus in Central. For a limited time only, there will be exclusive drinks and food options to try out, one of which is the Kagoshima Wagyu katsu sando ($258) with hearty slabs of beef just cooked enough to still be marbled and melty inside. The pop-up will be open from 8 am to 6 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.
Between, Haus, Shop 38 & 40, G/F, 48 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Known as one of Tokyo’s best coffee shops, Omotesando Koffee is also one of Hong Kong’s OGs for a bite of tamagoyaki sando ($58). Available daily starting from 9 am, it is common for these freshly-made sandwiches to be sold out well before lunch.
The store uses a half-steamed, half-baked method to cook their eggs, making the filling extra sweet and silky smooth—not to mention fluffy. They only use Japanese eggs, butter, and wasabi, which seems simple enough, but the end result is mind-blowing. With their omelettes measuring two centimetres thick, their scrambled egg sando is a must-try!
Omotesando Koffee, Shop 24–25, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
If we're talking about thick omelette sandos, newcomer Banchan & Cook has something to add to the list. This hipster-chic café with wooden panels and cool tones is a good place to chill out for the afternoon and their egg sandwich ($68) is a show-stopper amongst the restaurant’s regular omurice offerings. The thick—and we truly mean thick—omelette filling is cushioned between two plush pieces of bread and sprinkled with just a touch of chives to round out the flavours.
People may know 5019 Premium Factory as a store specialising in hamburgers (which are awesome in their own right), but what caught our eye was their selection of sandos. They have everything from tamago sando ($48) and minced beef sando ($68) to beef with cheese sando ($78) and the Wagyu steak cutlet sando ($188). With so many sandos to choose from, there’s a filling here for every taste and flavour.
Understandably, you may not associate the drink-focused Sake Central with its dishes, but they do in fact have a really good menu of bites designed to be paired with their sake options. Apart from the classic katsu sando ($88) which comes with a secret recipe tonkatsu sauce, there is also the epic cheese sando ($108) with asiago and wasabi relish, the Impossible Meat sando ($88), and the spicy Korean chicken sando ($88). The latter is our favourite, and is paired with an umami-laden broad bean paste (豆瓣醬; dau6 baan6 zoeng3) and Sake Central’s own Flagrant Harbour hot sauce.
Sake Central, S109–113, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2656 6552