Openings

Eat this: Mozzasando, the katsu sando bar with an Italian twist

Wagamama founder Alan Yau unveils his take on the classic Japanese snack in partnership with mozzarella bar group Obicà.

6 February 2020
asianitalianjapaneserestaurant openingrestaurantssandwiches
  • The Gist: Milanese-Sando and coffee bar from the founder of Wagamama
  • The Chef: Alan Yau (founder)
  • Location: 96 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AD
  • Food in 5 words: Katsu sando/Italian Milanese fusion
  • See more: www.mozzasando.com

How did we get here?

Alan Yau hardly requires an introduction. The entrepreneur founded restaurant chain giant Wagamama in London back in 1992 and has since gone on to open numerous restaurants specialising in Asian food. Award-winning restaurants to his name include Hakkasan, Yauatcha and Yamabahçe.

Having initially been inspired by Japanese ramen bars, Wagamama is, of course, Yau’s most famous invention. The pan-Asian restaurant chain is fast approaching its 30th birthday and, having been acquired by the Restaurant Group for £559m in 2018, now has approximately 150 locations and saw its sales grow strongly last year.

Yau now has big plans for 2020 with Mozzasando one of four ventures he plans to open in the coming months – two in Canary Wharf and one at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush.

What’s different about it?

Restaurateur Yau continues with his tried-and-tested formula of focusing on Asian cuisine. In this instance, however, he is also looking further west after partnering with Italian mozzarella bar group Obicà to create an Italian-influenced katsu sando bar.

Based in South Kensington, the Mozzasando menu offers katsu sando-Milanese hybrids. Yau says he took inspiration from Frank Salvoni – the mastermind behind a former Britalian sandwich bar on Wardour Street – as he looks to tap into the growing popularity of the crustless Japanese sandwich in the UK.

“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,” Yau said. “Imagine... if this could merge with the Japanese aesthetics of the katsu sando.” 

You’ve got to try…

Classic katsu sando with the deep-fried cutlet replaced by an Italian Milanese (a breaded escalope of veal or chicken).

Sparkie also likes…

The chilli fries with beef ragu and nduja sauce.

Go if…

You want a new/western take on the sando craze.

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