Are you in Kuala Lumpur and craving a vegan katsu sando? Crave no more! You can find one at Taste by Bert in Lalaport Bukit Bintang.
What Is Katsu Sando?
A katsu sando is a Japanese sandwich with a thick crispy meaty patty and flavourful sauce.
I don’t think I tasted a katsu sando prior to being vegan so this is a completely new experience.
Taste by Bert’s Vegan Katsu Sando
I came across Taste by Bert by chance. It was lunchtime and I was hungry after a fun rollerskating session. My relatives and I went to the Garden Dining food court on the fourth floor of Lalaport Bukit Bintang.
I went one whole round of the food court in search of vegan food.
There was a burger place that sells a vegetarian burger but the server couldn’t tell me what was in the burger and said that it would be very plain without the cheese. That didn’t sound exciting.
So I moved on and luckily, I found Taste by Bert!
I saw that their menu had one dish labelled Vegetarian. It’s called Miso Aioli Agedashi Tofu Katsu Sando.
I hoped that they could make it vegan without sacrificing much.
When I asked what was in the tofu katsu sando, the server explained every single ingredient. I asked to confirm whether the mayo had eggs and they said that it’s soy-based. In short, it was in fact vegan!
I was shocked and delighted.
It helped that the people there were so friendly and that they had a separate burner or cooking space for the vegetarian/vegan katsu sando. Previous customers advised them to do so.
Intrigued, I ordered one to eat!
Honest Review of the Vegan Katsu Sando
First impression—it looks very humble, snug in a plastic box. The eco side of me felt a bit disheartened because it was in plastic. Even if it’s segregated into the correct bin, it’s unlikely that it would actually be recycled. However, it is convenient for takeaway or delivery.
I WAS COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY!! The flavours were phenomenal! The mayo sauce looked cheesy but it’s not cheese and it tasted really good. I could taste sesame and ginger. The Agedashi Tofu had an umami taste. They might have used the vegan kombu dashi sauce because there was a seaweed taste to it. Overall, I was impressed. I truly enjoyed this meal.
It may look small but it’s actually dense. They cut the sandwich into half and I was comfortably full with just the one half. But I needed more calories to compensate for the lost ones while rollerskating. So the whole thing was really filling and satisfying.
I’d say for the taste and portion, MYR 20 plus MYR 4 upgrade to wholemeal bread was reasonable.
What Can Be Improved
I was very happy with this vegan katsu sando that I don’t want the dish itself to change at all.
What I’d like to see different is the presentation. The plastic container might be convenient for delivery or takeaway but they could use something more sustainable for dine-in. I understand that the container helps to keep the sandwich in place and shape. And it’s also for the benefit of Instagram or aesthetics because placing the katsu sando in such a way shows the patty unlike when laying it flat. So maybe they could switch to a biodegradable paper or wooden container.
Another thing is to introduce more vegan options on the menu! As of now, they only have one which is what I had. I’d love to see more variations, perhaps a veganized version of each of their meat-based sandos.