There is no shortage of places around Wall St. to burn through some of that bonus check at lunch, but none in Lower Manhattan may attempt do it as efficiently as the soon-to-open Don Wagyu. From the owner of Uchu and Sushi on Jones comes a restaurant dedicated solely to the ultra-premium steak sandwich known as a wagyu katsu sando, which will set you back up to $180.
Don Wagyu will sell three different versions of their sando made with 5 oz. of beef and crustless white bread, with the provenance of the meat accounting for the variance in price. The $28 features American wagyu sourced from California that’s aged 30 days in-house. When people think of wagyu, they’re usually picturing A5 Miyazaki, the super fatty and tender kobe beef that practically melts in your mouth. Don Wagyu offers a sandwich featuring this breed of beef for $75. And the restaurant’s priciest option, the $180 A5 Ozaki, is sourced from a single farm in the Miyazaki prefecture and then aged for 36 months. According to Bloomberg, only five cows from this farm come to America each month, and Don Wagyu will receive all of them.
The wagyu katsu trend has recently washed up on American shores, but the sandwich grew in popularity the last few years in Japan. Chefs started taking a slab of beautifully marbled beef, breading it in panko, flash frying it so the inside is warmed through but still rare, and then served between two slices of fluffy Japanese milk bread.
One of the sandwich’s most dedicated purveyors, Wagyumafia in Tokyo, is planning to open a location in New York, but has yet to secure a location. The team behind the restaurant announced last fall that they wanted to bring the wagyu katsu to America with a San Francisco outpost, but those plans were scrapped earlier this year.
While Wagyumafia tries to sort out its new home, Don Wagyu starts serving the coveted sandwiches on Wednesday. And, unlike Wagyumafia’s $180 version of the sando that uses chateaubriand, Don Wagyu’s comes with a side of fries. So at least you’re getting a full meal.