The Reuben Sandwich is an international phenomenon. It’s a sandwich that has captured the imaginations of people across the world. Yoji Mastumoto, of Reuben Republic is no stranger to the sandwich’s allure.
“I was here and I saw this special product and I thought it was so good to have a concept around this special product.” Yoji Mastumoto, Marrickville’s Reuben Republic’s owner explains.
The ‘special product’ is the homemade pastrami, which is brined, smoked and roasted, all in house.
“It takes about three weeks to make it from beginning to end.” He explains.
The skinny shop in Marrickville is friendly and light, with hanging indoor greenery, white subway tiles and industrial steel pendant lights handing over a light timber bar. The menu is centred on the café’s namesake, the Reuben, with both an East Coast and West Coast option.
The traditional East-coast Reuben arrives as you’d expect with slices of pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing on a light rye. The time that is put in to Yoji’s pastrami is immediately noticeable. It’s perfectly smoked, tender and juicy. It is cut into a lot of small slices that are stacked for a big flavour punch. The West Coast Reuben uses coleslaw instead of the sauerkraut, and is given on a dark rye from Bowen Island, true Reuben fans will appreciate both versions, as well as the reuben bagel.
Of course there are flecks of Yoji’s Asian influence creeping into the menu, with items such as the Samurai Chicken sandwich, which is a teriyaki style chicken and a Japanese style kraut, Fried chicken wings coated in a sweet-soy based sauce, and a Matcha Green Tea smoothie.
You have to love Yoji’s infatuation with pastrami and the Reuben sandwich. If you love the Reuben as much as Yoji, then you’ll love Reuben Republic.