Thursday, July 22, 2010

Matsu Hashi, Clifton Hill

Well as promised, we had dinner at Matsu Hashi on Friday night and I have something to write about!

Sushi has been a hard one for me to conquer. I wasn't a fan of thick sashimi slices, and the smell of the nori sheets made me feel quite ill. But it always looked so pretty and tasty and I am a bona fide lover of all seafood*, how could I not like sushi? So, I would continue to try it every now and then until I found something I liked.

What I ended up discovering was that I don't like old sushi, hand rolls that are prepared in the morning, or the night before and are left sitting in a fridge all day. Japanese fast food. I like my sushi made on the spot, with the freshest fish, which in essence is what sushi is supposed to be all about. I don't like overly thick sashmi slices, for me, the thinner the better and when you order this in a place where its made on the spot, you can request thinner slices if you prefer.

Well Matsu Hashi did not disappoint and I'm overjoyed with the fact that it's BYO wine and walkable distance from home. The interior is cosy and not too dark, still keeping simplistic Japanese styling as opposed to some crazy Japanese shop that sells Hello Kitty everything.

We ordered a bottle of Pirie South Pinor Noir 2009 (Tasmania). Not a bad drop, we managed to drink the whole bottle either way. The wine list was quite small but very reasonably priced.

Pirie South Pinot Noir 2009
The menu is extensive, large sushi bar, hotpot options, soups and teppanyaki. With so much to choose from, we wanted a little bit of everything! So what do we do in that situation? Of course we ordered a Banquet! P and I are suckers for banquets even though most of the time we almost need to be rolled out of the restaurant. But we decided on the Sappora Set. At $35 per person for 6 courses, what a bargain!

We started off with Miso Soup. It was light and flavoursome, and made from scratch. No sachet miso soup here. Topped with fresh sliced mushrooms, not dried and then re-hydrated mushrooms, it was the perfect addition to a perfect soup.

Next came the sushi and Californian rolls. We had king fish and salmon sushi and obviously some Californian rolls. On the side, wasabi, pickled ginger and Japanese mayo. The king fish sushi was my absolute favourite. The fish was fresh and the rice held together really well, I could bite half off and still have the remaining half balancing nicely in my chopsticks, all in one piece. The salmon was also very fresh and not cut too thick, just how I like it. P isn't usually a fan of Californian rolls, but he said that he actually really enjoyed these ones, and so did I!

Sushi and Californian Rolls

Miso Soup

After finishing that course I was starting to feel a little full from all the rice, but they left enough time in between for us to get our appetites back. I also think this is just Japanese food, it's filling immediately after you eat it but the feeling wears off pretty quickly, and we are ready for the next course!

The Gyoza Dumplings were large and juicy, probably some of the best I have had, you could taste the real pork with that really nice hint of the cabbage. I really could have eaten a plate full of these if I wasn't in anticipation of the rest of the meal! The Yakitori Skewers were your typical teriyaki chicken, reminiscent of my days at my old job where my friend G would order two Yakitori skewers and one Japanese pancake with extra mayo for lunch almost every day, how I loved to steal his food when he wasn't looking!

Next we had Tempura. Prawns, zucchini, pumpkin and carrot. As always, Tempura carrot is just my absolute favourite! The carrot is soft and sweet and the batter really light and crispy. We also enjoyed eating the fanned soba noodle garnish flecked with crunchy bits of tempura batter.

Gyoza and Yakitori

Eye fillet Teppanyaki, served with stir fried vegies on a sizzling iron plate. The steak was incredible, thick slices, cooked medium rare as asked by our friendly trainee waiter. This really was superb.

Eye Fillet Teppenyaki

P was not a fan of the Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Bean Paste, I enjoyed it that much that I forgot to take a photo and realised once it was half gone...

Since Friday night I have been back already! Really a fan of this place. Would recommend a visit to any lover of Japanese food!

*With the exception of jellyfish. How can anyone like something that can only be described as slimy crunch?

Matsu Hashi on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh I can't wait for tonight, totes getting the banquet... Matsu Hashi here I come!

  2. I'm amazed at how quickly I can fill up on sushi because of the rice! I love sashimi more I think as I can eat more. Is that wrong? :P