SAYS Review: This Virtual Coffee Shop Has Vegetarian Sandwiches That'll Whet Your Appetite
Of course they look yummy, but will the items on this menu selection peak our fancy? Read further to find out.
Sandw & Coffee is a new player in the food and beverage industry, but don't underestimate the flavours that may surprise you in their products
Established by a couple who wish to introduce a variety of sandwiches that you can enjoy with a cup of coffee, their goal is an intriguing yet challenging one at the same time: transform traditional vegetarian food to be more accepted by non-vegetarian foodies out there.
Having tried six different drink options by the establishment (five coffee-based drinks, and one chocolate-based drink), and four of their visually mouth-watering vegetarian sandwiches, it's time for us to decide if the products at this virtual coffee shop is SAYS approved.
Let's begin with the packaging of the products
The packages of the food and drinks from Sandw & Coffee are modern and contemporary in design.
Lightweight and compact, the sandwich boxes fit to the exact measurement of the contents, so they do not take up too much room if you have leftovers and need to keep them in your fridge.
The drink containers on the other hand are made of glass, so they may be heavier and more fragile than the sandwich boxes. Nonetheless, all the drinks are filled to the brim, so you will maximise the amount of money you spend for a bottle of coffee.
The most impressive and attentive feature is the label on both the drinks and sandwich containers. The sandwich sleeve placed in the middle of the box contains the brand name and sandwich name on the top, while all the ingredients are listed on the side.
For the drinks, the quantity of each bottle is listed on the side together with the methods of storage and how long you should keep the drink if you don't finish it within a day.
Now to the sandwich options!
With four carefully crafted options, the sandwich fillings are the Black Pepper Mushroom, Spicy Fish, Fillet, and Ham.
Each sandwich comes with similar secondary ingredients which complement their respective core filling. These ingredients include 100% whole wheat loaf bread, all-natural gouda cheese, fresh premium grand lettuce, fried eggs, mayo sauce, mozzarella cheese, as well as slices of cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce.
In line with their vegetarian stance, Sandw & Coffee immediately receives a green light for their use of all-natural cheese and mozzarella cheese, notable for being a suitable choice of cheddar for vegetarians.
Breaking down their complementary components, let's see how each sandwich faired in our taste test.
Tender and crispy on the outside, juicy and delectable on the inside, this ham sandwich does a great job at fracturing delicately in your mouth without an incessant amount of oil oozing from the ham bits.
A major plus of this sandwich is the seasoning of the ham. As the virtual cafe prides themselves on vegetarianism, expect the flavours to jump out at your palette as if you were eating real meat.
Spicy Fish Sandwich
Though spicy is within the name of this item, the spicy fish sandwich would rank tolerable on the spice metre. Well seasoned and sautéed to perfection, the combination of the salted fish pieces and crunch of vegetables make this another great option fitting for a full meal.
Black Pepper Mushroom Sandwich
The silky umami texture of the mushrooms may confuse you with its stark comparability to meat. With diced mushroom pieces laid delicately between the buttery wheat loaf and wheat germ bread slices, the peppery kick in this sandwich complements the salty flavour in the mayo sauce and the cheese duet.
Generous in size, the fillet sandwich takes the cake for the most filling sandwich of the four. Despite that, the essence of the sandwich does not jump out to the taste buds as the other three do.
This writer believes that the pairing of the secondary ingredients need to be shifted around. While complementary to the other three types, the soft texture of the fillet with the oozing cheese options can create a slushy finish in your mouth. Braces wearers, beware!
While there is clearly no ugly stepsister of the bunch, one sandwich stands out as the star of the show: the Black Pepper Mushroom Sandwich.
Retailing at just RM15.90 for the Black Pepper Mushroom, while the other three sandwiches equally cost RM14.90 each, these options may very well turn you into a vegetarian without breaking your bank in the process.
Let's continue with the drinks
Complementing the sandwich options of Sandw & Coffee come their minimal but sustainable menu of drinks.
To break down all six drinks we tried, it included their Signature Unsweetened Latte, Signature Chocolate, Signature Black Coffee, Cold Brew White, Cold Brew, and Double Espresso Shot.
With the Double Espresso Shot opening a wide variety of options for the other drinks on the menu (or your own personal drinks), let's see how the first five tasted, and how the espresso shot complemented each beverage.
Signature Unsweetened Latte
Thick, creamy, and aromatic. The handcrafted latte with premium double espresso shot is easily one of the best coffees on the menu. Spun to perfection, the bottle is filmed to the brim without a foam molecule in sight. This SAYS writer highly suggests this latte to all coffee lovers.
The only non-coffee based item on the list, this quality chocolate drink would best be described as comfort in a bottle. Balancing the flavours, this cinnamon coloured drink is not dense enough to make you feel bloated for the rest of the day, but it still provides for that chocolatey craving you seek out.
Signature Black Coffee
Containing strong dosages of premium espresso, the signature black option is a good variant to the usual black coffee you might find at "you-know-where". To the dark coffee enthusiasts, try this out for coffee that's just as strong and not as pricy as your usual coffee shops.
Cold Brew White
This white coffee brew would probably be a good choice for new coffee drinkers. Lighter and creamier than the other options on this list, the proportion of milk in this mixture may not be the ideal selection for hardcore coffee drinkers that need a brew.
Though stated that the cold brew is made with premium coffee beans, this may be the least effective option on the menu. While the strong aroma is inviting, the brew is rather bland without an espresso shot.
Double Espresso Shot
A wonderful addition to practically every single drink on the menu, the double espresso shot only enhances every other flavour on the menu.
While the double espresso delightfully improves the bitterness in the unsweetened latte, it creates a stellar caffè mocha option for the signature chocolate. The essential best feature is the combination of the shot with both brew options. The white cold brew evolved to a stronger sensation while the flat cold brew is now worthy as a showstopper among the other drinks on this menu.
Though we would not suggest taking the shot solo unless you need a jilt for your day, coffee addicts can trust that its impeccability stands on its own as it does with the other combinations.
As the options for their coffee menu vary depending on the essence of the flavours on their own, versus in combination with the double espresso, there is a clear bell of the ball: the Signature Unsweetened Latte.
Retailing at just RM15, the quality of the latte you'll receive considering the entire package and quantity per bottle (350 ml) is worth the purchase altogether.
Here are some of our final thoughts
Overall, this virtual coffee shop is a smash hit considering how new they are, stepping into the game in December 2021.
While there is no real flaw in any of their sandwich options, the coffee selection can be diversified and improved on with certain elements. Despite that, the attention to detail and scrupulous construction of their packaging and presentation make Sandw & Co a front-runner for small businesses looking to expand their reach.
For our SAYS metre, we give Sandw & Coffee: