I went to Matsuri with a group of friends to celebrate someone’s birthday. I have heard many praises for this Japanese restaurant and I’ve been given the weird look whenever I tell people that I have never been to Matsuri. What?! You’ve never been to Matsuri?! is the kind of response I’d always get. So I was actually very pumped to finally taste what the fuss was about.
I braved the chilly autumn night, walked in very high heels, and got to the restaurant where we were promptly seated by the friendly waitress serving us. The venue was very nice – modern oriental yet homey and it has glass walls so you can look out into the city. When we were given the menu my intial reaction was disappointment. For a restaurant that’s given a lot of high praises and that has a chic ambiance to it, the menu was rather disappointing. I was expecting something a bit more to the usual teriyakis and sushis and udons. Perhaps I was expecting too much. In any case, no matter how common and ordinary the menu items were, I still hoped that they would take the taste to the next level.
To start, we shared an entree of soft shell crab sushi. It came in 8 rolls.
The crab was perfectly crisp and flavourful. But the thing was this sushi is not properly made; as soon as you pick it up with your chopsticks it falls apart. Before you even get it to your plate you have already made a mess of a trail of sushi rice on the table. How can a Japanese restaurant charging top prices serve sushi that falls apart?
Anyhow, time for mains.
I opted for a beef teriyaki made with sirloin steak cubes in original teriyaki sauce.
This tasted more like garlic beef than teriyaki to me. Taste was garlicy and buttery and it was good but not the kind of teriyaki I am accustomed to or was expecting, at least. Beef was not tender enough either. I lost all poise just trying to chew that meat so I could swallow.
L had an una don, fresh eel in original teriyaki sauce over rice. This was more Japanese tasting than my beef above for sure. Amount of eel was generous but the amount of rice below was sickening. Too much rice for 1 person but enough if shared.
D ordered a fish teriyaki. The menu doesn’t say what fish they used but from sampling it, it wasn’t anything special. Nor does it look appetising.
A very nice restaurant with friendly and decent staff but food could be much better. I personally think it doesn’t live up to all the hype I’ve been hearing.