Katsu sandos are really having their moment – Instagrammers unanimous can’t enough of these aesthetically pleasing crustless sandwiches with their decadent fried meaty filling. Riding that wave, and taking it one step further, is Alan Yau, OBE and founder of Wagamama, Hakkasan and Yauatcha. Yau's fourth opening of 2020 is a Japanese-Italian fusion concept bar between Chelsea and South Kensington called Mozzasando. The star of the show is a katsu sando that sees the customary deep-fried cutlet replaced by a classic Italian Milanese (a breaded escalope of veal or chicken).
The restaurant-bar, has launched in partnership with Italian mozzarella bar group Obicà and the sandwiches are available to sample in the 32-cover venue or to takeaway. Each Mozzasando is served with French fries or chilli fries topped with either beef ragu or nduja sauce. Yau revealed that the inspiration behind the unconventional venture came from Frank Salvoni – the mastermind behind a Britalian sandwich bar on Wardour Street which has now closed.
“Frank always joked ‘Mate, what Pret took in the form of the prawn mayo is only half of our unpolished diamond. What they missed is the Milanese in a baguette, focaccia or ciabatta – that’s the f* vindaloo’. I always wondered in the soul-searching moments for that golden goose whether Frank’s Milanese could become the new champion for an Italian fast food concept. Imagine... if this could merge with the Japanese aesthetics of the katsu sando.”
There are three Milanese sandos to choose from including the Cotolette Milanese with veal ribeye, truffle aioli, cucumber pickles, jalapenos and onion marmalade; and the Fake Milanese comprising organic baby chicken in a kefir marinade with butter lettuce, cucumber pickles, jalapenos, rocket pesto and an anchovy aioli. Additionally there are three more traditional style chargrilled sandos to choose from, as well as a selection of vegetarian options and salads.
The cocktail list revolves around classic Italian negronis. Yau invites his patrons to sip on them as they wait for their sando to be prepared – adding a touch of Italian sophistication to the fast-food joint which has earned the seal of approval from local residents. Mozzasando joins a list of three other upcoming projects from the restaurateur with Chyna and Yau Grilling in Canary Wharf, and Yamabahce, a Turkish pizza concept opening in Westfield London.