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These perfectly symmetrical sandwiches of thick, juicy rare beef cutlets sandwiched between fluffy white bread are beautiful both on the eyes and the lips.
In Japan where wagyu beef is king, the sandwich equivalent is undisputedly the wagyu katsu sando, literally translated to mean wagyu cutlet sandwich. They are often eye-waveringly pricey as they are delicious and for good reason.
While not new, they started gaining fast popularity circa 2015, when Japan’s wagyu master Kentaro Nakahara made them Instagrammable with perfectly symmetrical sandwiches of thick, juicy rare beef cutlets sandwiched between fluffy white bread, typically served cut half. They picked up fast with establishments from Japan’s Wagyu Mafia to New York’s SaKaMai touting them as the king of katsu sandos.
Thankfully, we need not go too far now with these 4 places right here in Kuala Lumpur offering wagyu katsu sandos that are comparably as good.
We were first introduced to Chef Jun Wong’s wagyu katsu sando when she prepared it as part of the menu for the second season of Chef on Chef: Washoku. Chef Makoto Saito, to whom she served it, loved it and we’ll tell you why. Seasoned with nothing but salt, lightly breadcrumbed and then deep-fried to golden perfection in temperature controlled oil, Chef Jun’s A4 wagyu is served between two slices of charcoal toasted bread for juicy, succulent bites of marbled beef that is worth the RM200-RM400 (depending on weight) pricetag. W kikubari-dc3.com
The wagyu of choice for the katsu sando here at Ushi is the Ozaki beef, farmed from Ozaki cattle which consume an all-natural diet with 15 different kinds of fodder. The feed is mixed daily and consists of grass from the meadow, moist barley mash (a by-product of beer brewing), maize and barley, to name a few. Additionally, cattle are slaughtered between 28 to 36 months old, which allows the flavours of the meat to improve as they mature. Resultantly, you get beef that, although is highly marbled, does not at all feel greasy in the mouth. Instead, it melts like fragrant butter, lifted with the chef’s special blueberry, lime juice and sesame puree and Japanese milk bread to complete the sandwich of your dreams. W marriott.com
You might know them as the guys who brought to KL the Beyond Meat wagyu katsu sando, but before you flip out and proclaim heresy about a plant-based wagyu katsu, they have your traditional red meat beefy versions too. Theirs is a nod to completely traditional recipes and style, served simply in between toasted bread and beef jus. A dollop of mustard is at hand to add spiky punch but given the quality of the meat, it’s something you won’t need. W facebook.com/sushiryumy
BEAST by BIG
The steak master of The BIG Group’s long list of restaurants premiered its version of the wagyu katsu sando when it reopened in Plaza Batai and rebranded to a contemporary Japanese steakhouse. Like all the other items on its menu, it is big. As if its more than generous portions of prized wagyu isn’t enough, it also comes with a side of fries, just in case you’re not satiated at the end of the meal. The wagyu here is leaner than most others so those who aren’t a fan of high marbling might want to bookmark the accompanying link for reservations. W thebiggroup.co