Last May, Stonemill Matcha opened in the former Tartine space in the Mission. My brother, Keisuke Akabori, was hired as the executive chef of the cafe – a concept from Japan to introduce matcha culture to the Bay Area, complete with sweets and savory dishes for breakfast and lunch.
Since the opening, Akabori has been working on different menu ideas, the most popular continues to be his Katsu Sando (even featured in Bon Appetit!).
We asked Akabori a few questions about his beloved Katsu Sando:
What was the concept of your Katsu Sando?
To make a traditional style sandwich, elevated with good balance and quality ingredients. The concept was to create menu items that pairs well with matcha and to feel like you're at a cafe in Japan.
What sets it apart from others?
Using high quality pork! We use a 6-7oz Duroc pork loin with thinly sliced, crunchy cabbage, and our house made tonkatsu sauce.
What's your favorite drink pairing at Stonemill Matcha, for your sandwich?
Sparkling Yuzu Matcha with Ginger
Recently, Akabori is introduced rotating, Japan-inspired dishes to the menu for lunch, like Chicken Katsu, Hambagu (hamburger steak), and Sake Kama (salmon collar). Served in a teishoku (meal set) style, with miso soup, a bowl of rice, and pickles, these lunches are generous in its portions and will often sell out.
The cafe is usually packed with neighborhood patrons and tourists, especially during the weekends. The chic, modern space is home to a matcha tea grinder from Japan and eventually, they will open a private tea room. It feels special to stop by for a cup of tea and slice of cake (the talented Mikiko Yui heads the pastry program – don't miss the Matcha Cream Pie!) or for a lunch date with friends.
We went into Stonemill Matcha to try out Akabori's Katsu Sando, teishoku dishes, and everything else on the menu, for a delightful lunch. Check out everything we ate in the slideshow below!
Find Akabori on Instagram at @casadekei!
561 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110