Let’s backdate a little. This was quite awhile ago, but it appears that it’s the earliest set of food photos I’ve taken with a DSLR. Why not start here!
First of all, the details:
Restaurant: Masuya Japanese Seafood Restaurant
Date Visited: 2/02/2012
Address: 12-14 O’Connell Street Sydney NSW 2000
Good for: first/Nth dates, groups, lunch/dinner, takeaway, seafood/Japanese lovers (could I be more obvious)
Not good for: cheap eats, alfresco dining, if you don’t like seafood (orly) fine dining (yes expensive != fine dining)
Go-to dish: dat seafood boat….it can be considered as the sole reason for eating here
Now for some reason they’ve taken down the menus until further notice (as I write this blog post in Sept 2012) so I can’t provide you with the fancy names they usually give to their food. I’ll be describing them in my own awkward, Shenism-style way. Maybe.
Anyways, onto it.
So we came to this restaurant under the recommendation of Danny (an arrogant friend of mine). It was Cherry’s (a mutual friend of ours) birthday and since those two (and me!) love Japanese food, going to Masuya was going to be an easy recommendation.
The service, as you would expect from a proper Japanese restaurant is superb as always. Staff are polite, and well (but not over the top) dressed. We arrived at a time that wasn’t too late – most tables were still empty then (but this situation changed quickly). Thus, were able to get our orders through fairly quickly. We first ordered a selection of futomaki, temaki and nigiri sushi.
Cod roe futomaki sushi with crab stick and cucumber (foreground) with sashimi temaki in the middle foreground
It’s not really that hard to screw cod roe sushi up. So I wasn’t surprised that it tasted great. A good thing for all! I actually liked the fact that there was less rice and more filling (hard to see in the pic – but there was more filling than meets the eye). Fewer carbs woo!
Nigiri sushi – you’re looking at a selection of tunas and kingfish (not pictured)
As expected from a top-notch seafood restaurant, the nigirizushi was done particularly well. Amply thick (but not excessive) slices of tuna layered on each bed of sushi rice made for a delicious morsel – and that’s without even touching the sauce! Of course, it’s even better with a dab or three.
Remember, the hallmark of good tuna is that after only minor chewing it essentially falls apart and melts in your mouth with no residue stringiness or that ‘fish’ flavour. I could not fault this nigiri. It’s a prime example of how selecting the best ingredients go a long way in producing something of quality.
Salmon roe temaki sushi
I happened to have a macro photo of this particular sushi (actually, they’re almost ALL macros haha!). Just look at it. It’s bloody magnificent. People sometimes butcher up salmon roe by spicing it up (sometimes literally) the roe itself with any number of sauces which completely ruin the flavor and by extension – texture. That’s NOT how you do it. The roe has its own inherent flavor that does not need heavy flavoring!
Masuya once again were on the ball – the roe was fantastic. A pure joy when each bauble of flavor pops in your mouth. Mmmm, omega 3 has never tasted so darn good. It’s unfortunate that I only had one. But of course…that was a good thing in order to eat what was coming up next…
Unagi nigiri sushi, lightly marinated with a teriyaki sauce
In all honesty, unagi (eel) nigiri is pretty common – you can’t really screw this one up unless you overcook the eel or overdo the marinade. Props to Masuya for not bombing out on either. A great treat whether it’s at a classy Japanese restaurant or at your local sushi stand!
Salmon salad with…you guessed it – salmon! Lettuce, onion and broccoli in a light dressing
Okay so I’m not usually a fan of salad for obvious reasons – they’re too HEALTHY. JOKES, no not that – but just generally they don’t contain ingredients/textures/flavors that interest me. Of course, it’s a different story when you chuck a great protein into the mix such as salmon!
I must admit, I didn’t really focus on the vegetables so much – instead choosing to devour as much of the salmon as possible. Frankly, I don’t think I made a wrong choice here. After all, leaves are only so good. The salmon itself was classic, though a wee bit stringy. Oh well, I can forgive this thanks to the excellent dressing – and who said sushi soy sauce/wasabi is the only way to have your salmon sashimi…
Teriyaki chicken salad – same as above salad but with teriyaki sauce as dressing
Finally, onto the meats! Generally, you screw up chicken by overcooking, undercooking or worst of all – overcook one part while undercooking the other (usually with the outside and inside). I can tell they slow-cooked (relative to the usual 2min fire-torture) the chicken because it was tender throughout. I’m a big fan of teriyaki ANYTHING so it’s hard to find a fault with this. It’s teriyaki chicken – it’s a staple! Just order this dish. Just do it.
Oh yeah and the salad was ignored as usual
Something big coming right up!
The Masuya seafood boat – featuring various sashimi, lobster, king prawns and oysters
This is a behemoth. Remember when I said this place is good for group dining? THIS IS EXACTLY WHY (and it’s definitely possible for you and your date to polish off too!).
If you were to order one thing from this place this would be it. Just look at it. I don’t need to say more.
Okay a little bit wouldn’t hurt:
Sashimi – CHECK (same quality as before)
Oysters – freshly shucked and sauce is in perfect balance. CHECK
Lobster – to each their own, but I found it to be a bit too chewy for my liking.
But no, we’re not done yet!
Wagyu steak broiled in special sauce, served with a side of mash and steamed veggies.
This was something I ordered for myself (but ended up being shared anyways). I usually make a point to order the beef out of any Japanese restaurant – most people think seafood is where they excel at but NAY I say! I say they excel in beef too! Have you ever tried Kobe Beef? No? Then shut up until you do and then tell me you disagree
In any case, the steak was cooked well, though a bit too much on the rare side for me (you weren’t given the choice to specify how well done it is – Japanese places often don’t). Still, I could’ve wolfed down the whole thing given a chance. In the end, I could have passed on this one and not missed it too much. Masuya in particular is known for its seafood, not its beef after all. I’ve got no beef with that (damn I already went there…)
Pork katsu with chili sauce
Well I’m sure you’ve all had katsu before, especially of the pork variety. As long as the cook is cooked well enough and the batter tastes crispy enough you’re doing alright
Technically a dish we could have done without, but we wanted to vary the protein we had on the night. Note how we covered all the majors B/C/P
This is a safe dish – nothing outstanding, but nothing bad about it either.
Seafood udon served nabe-style featuring tempura prawn, crab sticks and egg
Legit actually the second or third best dish out of what we ordered today. To those of you that know me, I’m a HUUUUGE fan of noodles (they’re my favourite staple food). Thus, you can expect to wow me easily when you present something as magnificent as the above to me.
I didn’t actually order it, but thank goodness Cherry took THAT initiative. The noodles were soft, and did not require much chewing to get down – but they also didn’t turn to mush upon the first few bites. In other words the texture pretty much hit the spot. Heck, I liked the noodles to the point where I didn’t even bother aiming for the toppings – the noodles were that good! Naturally, good noodle soup needs to be paired with good soup – I was not disappointed. The soup was clear which bodes well for good health indications (I still somewhat care!) and was not too heavily-salted. It carried a hint of that cooked seafood flavour which you may or may not like, but I personally love. I could probably drink a bowl of the stuff. Oh wait, I think I may have. Eeep.
Green tea ice cream served with fruit slices
Who doesn’t like green tea ice cream? Exactly. I think I’ll move on immediately.
But not before saying that the green tea ice cream here – while great, is not standout. Or to word it in a better way – once you’ve reached a certain level, it’s hard to be exceptional compared to all the other good green tea ice cream you’ve surely had.
Green tea crème brûlée with vanilla ice cream and fruit slices
I generally don’t have much crème brûlée mainly because it’s essentially torched sugar on top of cream = calories*calories^(calories). And thus that tradition continued – this was not my dessert. Nevertheless, I took a try and found that they ended up burning it somewhat more than they should have. The result? Too much bitterness in what is inherently somewhat bitter (the tea). The ice cream does help dilute that though. Overall, could be improved.
Sweet red bean porridge with…was it rice cakes?
Yeah I don’t remember this one particularly well – I didn’t try it. But sources do say that it tastes somewhat similar to what a sago-based dessert would taste like except the texture is more akin to that of softened red beans. Thus, a bowl of sugary soup await you. Still, can’t be all that bad!
MY MY, that was kind of long for my first post…I’m going to get into this as quickly as I can, and there’ll be some bumps along the way but hopefully that was a good indication of how good Masuya is.
I give Masuya Seafood Restaurant a grand total of seven and a half Caesars out of ten – 7.5/10.