Single O coffee and untraditional, tasty katsu sandos in Darlinghurst.
January 19, 2023
On the corner of Oxford and Crown Street sits an unassuming cafe. At first glance, it looks like the kind of place serving up second-rate coffees to undiscerning commuters. But, look closer and you'll find not all is what it seems. Single O batch filter. Katsu sandos on fluffy white bread. Scrambled eggs topped with edamame and yuzu mayo. Sydney, meet Sandoitchi.
Located in a section of Darlinghurst noticeably lacking good coffee, especially since the closure of Edition, Sandoitchi is pairing quality cups of joe with Japanese-inflected fare worth trekking up Oxford Street on your lunch break for. If you do make said trek, let us make a suggestion: order one of the many katsu sandos on offer.
Sydney isn't short on good versions of this humble Japanese sandwich, but this one's a particularly good, and slightly untraditional, take. Served with all the standards — crustless white bread, a hunk of panko-crusted patty of your choice — spanning from classic chicken to premium wagyu and bone marrow with cabbage and sweet and sour miso mayo — the classic pork katsu sando also arrives piled high with pickled carrot, American cheese and nori.
Those looking to bypass the bread can order their katsu as a poké bowl, with brown rice, miso corn and shiitake topped with either pork or chicken katsu. Or, if you're searching for something meat-free, order the umami-packed spicy eggplant sando or the eggplant katsu salad bowl.
For dessert options — or if you're feeling fruity — the strawberry sando is an absolute classic.
Chefs Sam Lawrie and Pureephat "Bhass" Kraikangwan, and Saowanit "Ying" Boonrod originally opened the cafe while spreading their time out between the Oxford Stree favourite and CBD Thai restaurant Long Chim, keeping themselves awake during their double shifts with a steady supply of Single O Paradox (Sandoitchi's house-blend for milk coffee) and cold brews spaced out between shots of fresh ginger, carrot and orange juice. Or, possibly fuelled by Sandoitchi's hot chocolates made with 70-percent dark chocolate from Melbourne's Mörk.
Either way, the trio has drummed up enough energy, skill and charm to create a cafe that's a far cry from the humdrum corner store it first appears.
Images: Trent van der Jagt.
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