Awarded by Kathy Paterson
We walk it regularly, those 700 steps from home to Omni to make short work of their Katsu Sando, one of best dishes we have ever eaten and its in our neighbourhood. Flavour and texture are obviously important to John Yip, the co-owner/chef at Omni. Cooking over fire on a specifically made grill using Binchotan (a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking - I had to look that up!), gives the hand ground chicken patty its crisp outer, succulent centre and big flavours. The patty sits inside perfectly cut rounds of soft white bread, along with his Omni mayonnaise and shredded cabbage. John has crafted his Katsu Sando so well I can taste it now as I write. Even though I think of Omni as a chicken place (John had previously worked at the well-known Hong Kong yakitori restaurant, Yardbird), it does offer more. Sublime fresh raw fish with white soy and his eggplant tempura with its crunchy batter and the eggplant meltingly-tender are must-haves. These dishes do change-up with each season. The selection of yakitori includes chicken meatballs served with a perfectly formed egg yolk for dipping, chicken thigh skewered with spring onion, along with soft bone, heart and wing chicken for the more adventurous. The smoky taste of gently charred chicken and oh those cooking smells keep us going back for more. Even their descriptive phrase is good - Always the same, always different.