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At Mikkusu, a talented chef bides her time

Cloud & Spirits opens soon, but in the meantime, this temporary shop sells delightful Japanese sandwiches from Katie Cheung

Zucchini Katsu at Mikkusu pop-up restaurant in Central Square, which will open as Cloud & Spirits in the spring.
Zucchini Katsu at Mikkusu pop-up restaurant in Central Square, which will open as Cloud & Spirits in the spring.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Where to: Mikkusu Sando in Central Square.

Why: For panko-breaded pork patties on Japanese milk bread.

The backstory: Pulling up to Mikkusu Sando is a little sad at first. The takeout-only storefront, dark except for brown sacks waiting to be retrieved in the entryway, used to house Cuchi Cuchi. This was the kind of debauched lair where many Bostonians spent their bleary twenties guzzling cocktails, grazing on tapas, and forging alchemic (or regrettable) alliances.

Cuchi Cuchi is gone, but there is happy news: Mikkusu Sando is here through springtime, and the same team (Blackfin Collective, behind Love Art Sushi) will then launch Cloud & Spirits in the space. Cloud & Spirits will offer riffs on Korean food from chef Katie Cheung. Cheung is a former computer scientist who changed careers starting in 2011, first at Radius and then at Kamikura and Menton.

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Chef Katie Cheung at Mikkusu in Central Square.
Chef Katie Cheung at Mikkusu in Central Square.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

While the pandemic gets under control, Cheung is starting small, getting to know the space and her customers. This pop-up shop serves only in sandwiches on shokupan, or Japanese milk bread. She began experimenting with recipes during the pandemic and found that the bread is soft, squishy, sturdy, and travels well — ideal for a takeout-only joint.

“I was looking to try something casual and fun while waiting for Cloud & Spirits to open,” she says. Mikkusu is both.

Sandwiches and sides at Mikkusu.
Sandwiches and sides at Mikkusu.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

What to eat: Sandwiches! They are crustless, filling, and colorful. Pork comes from Savenor’s, breaded in panko, fat and fried, and topped with red watercress and garlic mayo or tangy cabbage. Vegetarians can opt for a fried zucchini version, thinly sliced and generously topped with creamy Dijon. Sweet versions are stuffed with whipped cream and mandarins or tamagoyaki, a soft, thick omelet with a panko shell. Each sandwich comes with thimbles of creamy potato salad and briny pickled vegetables (watch out for the peppers).

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What to drink: A refreshing strawberry-yuzu citrus puree, banana milk swirled with Nutella, or a spiked honey matcha latte.

The takeaway: Gourmet sandwiches with an air of mystery: Orders open at 11 a.m., but log in urgently, vaccine-appointment-style — supplies run out.

795 Main St., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-945-1158, mikkusu.square.site


Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.