Touted as fine dining Japanese, Matsuri Japanese Restaurant in the West end of the city is more a fairly upmarket Japanese Diner. Perfectly placed for business lunches and shopping frenzied punters, this two tiered chrome and stainless steel set up does quite nicely for a casual dinner venue.
Never one to turn down a free meal, I was very happy to join family friends here to celebrate their son’s birthday.Once seated and preliminary birthday greetings espoused, we turned our attention to choice starters. These included the Japanese fried chicken (Tori Karaage), Pork Belly (Kakuni) and Sashimi.
Apparently the warm sake was a good companion to the appetisers, and even the birthday boy got a wee taste. Sadly I missed out this time – damn those work committments!
The Kakuni, was most impressive – chunks of slowly stewed pork belly steeped in sweet soy and mustard sauce – it just melted in the mouth with all the textural fun that one expects from such a dish.
A selection of “sets” were ordered for mains – which means that all came with the standard Miso soup, rice bowl, salad and pickled beansprouts. Amongst the selection were the chicken and pork Katsu Don – both dishes were done well and enjoyed thoroughly. The Pork Katsu Don being a particularly generous serving.
I ordered the Teriyaki Pork, as I don’t think I have ever ordered this off a menu before but have had various home-cooked and fast food versions. The offering here was generous too, but not, I’m reliably told, very authentic. The sauce was nice but tasted quite Western, almost like a buttery Diane steak sauce without the brandy. It lacked the stickiness and lustre of the usual teriyaki glaze. The pork atleast was well cooked and tender and all the “Set” accompaniments were fine.
The surrounds were quite noisy due to the distinct lack of soft furnishings in the modern minimalist interior, and the bright lights would scare off any prospective love-birds…this is not a place for lingering deep conversation and cosying up. All in though, it was a rather nice meal. The service was efficient and the food good and I can’t complain as I left with an overfilled tummy and didn’t pay a cent!