Sando Shop

3rd May 2024
Sando Shop by Umami Issues opens with a Japanese deli concept, fusing their namesake flavours into a lineup of shokupan and brioche sando, to donburi and dry ramen bowls.

To talk about Sando Shop is to look back at what started it all: Umami Issues. Brought together by school friends-turned-business partners Thanya Ponggawa and Justina Harjono (who is also the chef-founder of Ling Ling Dim Sum and Tea House), the once-at-home business selling homemade pasta sauce and pantry staples during the pandemic has journeyed from being a private dining offering Italian and Japanese-influenced dishes, a drive-thru kitchen series, a supper club to now opening a restaurant (or Japanese deli as Thanya described it) in the quiet neighbourhood of Jenggala in Selong. 

Sharing space with DUMA boutique, Sando Shop is the culmination of what Thanya and Justina cooked up at the drive-thru kitchen, continuing from their popular shokupan sandos (Japanese sandwiches with milk bread) to donburi bowls. Today, the newly-opened resto adds more Japanese-influenced dishes into the mix, rolling out mazemen (Japanese dry ramen), fried chicken and tsukune nuggets, to sweet toast creations. 

But if one can’t figure it out already, it’s the Umami Issues DNA centring on fresh produce and premium ingredients that make these simple dishes their own. Their version of lobster roll uses poached local shrimp wedged into a brioche bun with Japanese mayo, while their take on sloppy joe sandwich (named Sloppy Jean) utilised wagyu chuck dressed in aioli sauce and foie gras bordelaise, topped with roasted onions. 

Ideas for these Japanese-centric dishes can also be oriented back to the duo’s many travels to the country, where a simple dish of convenience store sandwich can lead to a creation of the same spirit in the Kombini Egg Sando, wrapping creamy egg salad with brioche bun served with potato chips. 

Whether you’re dropping by for brunch (it opens at 11 am), making time for late lunch or carving out an early dinner, settling into the long communal wooden tables backdropped by the expansive windows to the mini home garden is akin to eating at the leisure of one’s kitchen; the island counter serving coffee, selections of tea and the day’s freshly baked cookies adds even more touch to the homely atmosphere. 

At Sando Shop, there’s little else to do but enjoy the offerings at hand, but if you’re already a Umami Issues fan from years back, sitting at the physical store might feel like you’re part of the duo’s journey and their small wins all along.