Hambagu. Kareraisu. Korokke. If you’re a total stranger to Japan, you’d easily think these were traditional Japanese fare. But these are already popular examples of yoshoku or Western-style Japanese food. And it’s easy to identify them because they sound similar to the English equivalents (e.g., hambagu = hamburger). If you learn how to speak Japanese, you can easily catch these subtleties.
Now that you know this, you can easily guess where the Japanese “sando” came from. Despite its Western origins, sando or Japanese-style sandwich is as unique to Japan as any dish can get. It doesn’t use just any loaf—it’s made with shokupan, a milk bread that feels like a cloud to the bite. And with the Japanese, it seems almost anything edible can be tucked into shokupan. Need a snack? A full lunch meal? Or, a dessert maybe? Sando is all you need.
Here are the best places you can get the most delicious sando or Japanese-style sandwiches in Metro Manila:
For the uninitiated, a good start would be tamago sando or egg sandwich, the original and most common kind of sando. And what better place to get it from than a shop dedicated to and named after it? Tamago Sando has two kinds of sandwiches: the original tamago or egg salad sandwich and the tamagoyaki sando. This shop’s version of tamagoyaki or Japanese omelet is noticeably more velvety and thicker.
With a lot of creativity, restaurants like Wagyu Studio elevate sando from being a cheap convenience store item to something more fancy and indulgent. Delicately toasted milk breads come bearing high-quality A5 Kobe beef, which you can enjoy in three ways. Have a steak sando with wasabi steak sauce, menchi katsu sando, or chateaubriand sando—all topped with gold flakes!
Wagyu Studio is open for al-fresco dining at its The Finance Centre branch in BGC. They also offer “At Home Dining” delivery service. Contact them at +63 917-180-0657.
While tonkatsu always grabs the headlines at Maisen, their sando is also definitely worth a try. It’s a unique and fun way to enjoy your katsu favorites. Savor the rich and crisp goodness of Maisen’s specialty in one bite of their tenderloin katsu sando.
Maisen is open for al-fresco dining at its Greenbelt 5, Glorietta 4, and Shanri-La at the Fort branches. You can also find them on FoodPanda and GrabFood for delivery.
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory
Seafood lovers aren’t left out with Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory’s signature shrimp katsu sando. The cafe is known for pastries made with rich Hokkaido milk, and their sando is no different. The milk bread is toasted lightly for that slight crunch, complementing the deep-fried shrimp patty with shredded cabbage and creamy tartar sauce.
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory has several branches in Manila, including Glorietta and Greenbelt in Makati, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, and Uptown BGC. You can conveniently order from their official website tmcf.ph.
This classy restaurant offers an upgraded experience of Japanese cuisine, and you can expect no less from its selection of Japanese sando. Their rendition of the classic tamago sando leaves an umami-filled impact on the palate with the addition of Hokkaido milk and Kazunori’s homemade hondashi. Those with a meat appetite will also have the ultimate feast with the A4 wagyu sando. Meanwhile, seafood lovers can choose from ebi (shrimp) sando and katsu-style salmon belly sando.
Kazunori is open for limited dine-in at Mazda Makati Building, Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City. You can have your cravings delivered to you by contacting +63 917-836-2695 or +63 968-773-3633.
BONUS: DIY Japanese Fruit Sando
As mentioned, sando can also be a dessert lover’s go-to. Sadly, Japanese fruit sandwiches are scarcer in the metro. But the good news is—fruit sando is easy to make by yourself, and there are many bakeries where you can get the key ingredient: milk loaf. Here are some of them:
- Hokkaido Milk Bread PH – A home bakery in Quezon City that makes different kinds of Hokkaido milk bread. Kaku shokupan (rectangular loaf) is ideal for sando.
- Kumori – Japanese milk bread with cheese to give your fruit sando extra flavor and texture.
- The French Baker – This French bakery has almost all things bread, including classic Hokkaido milk bread.
Once you have your bread, you can freely choose your fruits! Lay your sliced fruits and thick whipped cream on your milk loaf, wrap it with aluminum or plastic film, and refrigerate. Once it’s chilled, slice it diagonally to reveal that Insta-perfect colorful filling. Enjoy it with an equally tasty fruit tea drink!
Delicious, aren’t they? Learn more things to say than oishii in this Japanese for Beginners Program by The Study – Enderun College!
Find more snacks and drinks you can enjoy together with your Japanese sando on KKday!
*Featured image via Tamago Sando & Kazunori Japanese Restaurant