The Fluffiest Japanese Egg Salad Sandos Are Sold In This Tiny NYC Shop | Line Around The Block


Herrine Ro: If you left me here, just alone, for five minutes, I would polish this off, easy. Hi, guys. It’s Herrine. So, today, we are in front of Otaku Katsu. It is a new restaurant specializing in Japanese fast-casual comfort food. It opened up about a month ago, and the place is already packed. I am so excited to try this place out because katsu sandos are
one of my favorite foods, and I wanna see what
all this fuss is about, so let’s go in. Key to Japanese comfort
food is the tamago sando, a light egg-salad sandwich
found in convenience stores throughout the country. Now, an egg-salad sandwich
might not seem like something worth queuing up for, but trust me, when done right, it’s the
best thing you’ll eat. Originally made in Japan, these sandos took Los
Angeles by storm last year, and now it’s finally New York’s turn to dish out the goods. Otaku Katsu opened this
September in Lower Manhattan by Dimitri and Christine, who met working in the restaurant industry and quickly realized their
shared love of Japanese food. Christine Argao-Voutsinas:
Well, first we just talked about getting drinks, and then eventually we both found that we
love, love, love to eat and explore different cuisines, but we found especially a lot of affection for Japanese cuisine. Herrine: After multiple
trips to Japan together and many late nights at Japanese izakayas, the couple decided to
venture out on their own. Christine: So, “sando” is
“sandwich” in Japanese, and what’s really important
is the ingredients. So, using the traditional
Japanese white bread, which is called shokupan, along with good old classic Kewpie mayo, cooking those eggs to, not so hard-boiled, but just shy of, and then
arranging it on your shokupan, that nice, bright, lively yolk, which is so important to the presentation. And, of course, cutting off the crusts you have your classic tamago sando. Dimitri Voutsinas So, every
day, I’m going through 15 dozen eggs just for that one sandwich. Herrine: Everything that
I love about my childhood is on this plate. I grew up eating Calbee
seaweed potato chips, and one of my favorite meals, growing up, that my mom made me was her egg salad. And this is just another
elevation of that, because they actually
put in half whole eggs, so that when you cut it,
you see these beautiful whole pieces of egg. That bread is plush, man. OK, so obviously I’m gonna say that my mom’s egg-salad
sandwich is better, but this is close. Oh, my God, if you’ve
never had milk bread, Japanese milk bread, you
are completely missing out. They are the perfect base for a sandwich because they’re so plush and so airy and still kind of, like, creamy. It just pairs perfectly
with the egg sando. A little pro tip, get a seaweed chip. [crunches] That’s the way to do it. Another restaurant favorite
is the katsu sando, which chef Dimitri makes
with a full chicken breast instead of a thinner cutlet,
like you’d see in Japan. It’s covered in store-bought
panko and then deep-fried. The milk bread is char-grilled and doused with imported katsu sauce
and a red cabbage coleslaw. I love the grill marks on this bread. What’s better than regular milk bread? Grilled milk bread. I’m a sauce girl. I like more of this tonkatsu sauce. I actually quite like how they
use the chicken breast as is, instead of pounding it down really thinly, because I feel like it
retains a lot more juiciness and it doesn’t take away
from the crunchy breading. Solid sandwich. Otaku Katsu also offers something
a little less traditional. The BEC katsu starts with
a soft-boiled duck egg, which is coated in a bacon
and Gruyère béchamel sauce, breaded in panko, and deep-fried. This looks like a dish that
my mom would prepare for me for lunch, but just a
restaurant version of it. My mom would never
perfectly boil a duck egg, no shade. It looks like a Scotch egg. It’s crunchy. If you left me here, just
alone, for five minutes, I would polish this off, easy. This is the best part. All the runny egg yolk has
seeped through the rice. The residual oil, it’s all
down here in this bottom. Customer: Today, I ordered the BEC. It’s a little bit like
a Japanese Scotched egg. This katsu was totally different
because it’s a duck egg. Totally a different taste,
and it was really fantastic. Herrine: With a tiny storefront even by New York standards, Dimitri and Christine are dedicated to keeping the food focused
on comfort classics. Christine: We’re working
with 300 square feet, total. Dimitri: I have to keep
the menu tight and small, so we had to pick and
choose what we put on there. Very curated menu. How we decided was, what would we want to eat every day and not get sick of? And it has a little mix of everything, ’cause that’s comfort food. That’s exactly what it is. Producer: What do you love?
Herrine: Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise and me?