Review #2: Sushi Masuda

2 March 2017

I slept okay, but my stomach was still unhappy from that disastrous lunch on the Delta flight… Had to deal with some morning logistical issues and getting my day’s plans sorted, but I headed out for an early lunch just before 1100. A slow drizzle was covering Tokyo as I got to Omotesando and today’s lunch destination, Sushi Masuda.

I have no idea why, but my review of Sushi Masuda from December 2015 is easily the most-read review on my site. I really don’t know why, but I get plenty of hits every day for the past year. Hopefully I played a tiny role in giving this excellent sushiya more focus, as they recently won their 2nd Michelin star.

I got there and sat at the corner of the counter and chilled out. I enjoyed some nice sake as the meal commenced. At first there was just 2 of us at the counter and some folks at a side table, but soon the place was full. Up first were excellent fresh slices of tai (red snapper).

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Nice and clean, and more flavourful than usual for this common sashimi fish. Nice start! Then next up, some grilled anago.

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Oh my these were excellent, nice and rich, and the spices used on this brought out the best of the oil with a bit of a kick. Really nice! Next up was something I really looked forward to, the smoked sawara (Spanish mackerel).

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Fabulous, lovely, smoked in hay and boasting such a drool-inspiring aroma, these tasted fantastic also. The smoke just added so much to the oily fish, what a wonderful item! I was still smiling quite noticeably as the next item was brought.

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This is a marinated local vegetable that is closely related to Chinese broccoli. Not bad, a good palate cleanser in a way. Next up was a gorgeously large chunk of ankimo (monkfish liver)…

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Mmm, lovely stuff, I like it more than foie, and this was a nice serving indeed. Wow, another winner here. And it continues, and we have some shirako next.

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Not any of the usuals, but it’s fugu no shirako. Nice and creamy, but it is absolutely a mouth-burner when the creamy contents burst into your mouth. Yes, you can make all sorts of salacious jokes about it, but it was damn delicious. Then we had the last of the items before the sushi segment, grilled tachiuo (scabbard fish).

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Fabulous, they really get the best out of this delicious fish. The tiny bits of spice they use actually accentuate the natural oiliness so well it really was scrumptious. What an awesome start so far!

I ordered another sake as we start into the sushi segment, and now it’s getting serious. First up, sayuri (halfbeak).

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A surprisingly good and thick piece that had a lot of flavour. Not one of the more common fishes, but it’s one of their favourites it seems. And they do it well. Next up, ika (squid).

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A pretty good piece, tasty with just enough texture to make it nice. Next up, akagai (ark clam).

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Now it’s nearly impossible to get this legitimately in the US, so it’s really nice to have it. Lovely stuff. And as a bonus, the innards and lip…

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Excellent, as the liver is the prominent part of this. Very nice surprise here, balanced out by the strong texture of the clam lips. Excellent piece! Then we move into the tuna duo.

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The lean tuna was very nice, marinated so it’s far more flavourful. And the chu-toro

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Fabulous, lovely stuff, can’t say enough about it. Melt-in-your-mouth stuff. Excellent!

I opted for a third small bottle of sake as I was enjoying this lunch very much! Next up, the usual kohada (gizzard shad).

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Never one of my favourites as it’s more eye candy than anything, but a good piece. Then torigai (surf clam).

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I always love having lots of clam varieties in my sushi meals, especially ones that provide texture. This was really nice stuff. Next up was expected as they were cleaning the prawns already earlier, kuruma-ebi.

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Just lovely stuff, meaty and juicy, with a tinge of brain sauce between it and the rice. Wonderful flavour here once again. Then next up, hamaguri.

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Again, so good to have so much clam featured, this being the soft one with a nice coat of eel sauce. Nice, but it also hinted we’re near the end… Next up, kinmedai (goldeneye snapper).

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Not one of my usual faves but again, very good and flavourful. It’s the cold winter this year perhaps, as many of the more neutral fishes have exceptionally deep flavours. Then next up, aji (horse mackerel).

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Excellent flavours once again with the oily fish, one of the biggest perks of coming to Japan in the winter. Then another, some really good uni.

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Excellent flavours, though on the small side (especially compared to what some others got later). Tasty for sure. Then the anago

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Amazingly soft, it’s like eating marshmallow… Awesome, but it also meant we’re near the end. And indeed, with the delivery of the tamago

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I saved some of my sake as they asked if there’s anything more I like to have, and of course I said the smoked sawara

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Oh, this is just dreamy. It wasn’t room temperature like before, as it was in the fridge, so I had both ways — cold and room temperature. Fabulous stuff.

Those sitting at the counter were making lots of noises of contentment so I think the crew was happy. I thanked them and headed out. A pricey lunch, partly due to a lot of drinking, but worth it. I’m glad I made a return trip, and this validated everything I wrote about this place last time. I am just so happy to see them busy!

Very highly recommended as usual!

Sushi Masuda [鮨 ます田]
B1F, 5-8-11 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan

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5 thoughts on “Review #2: Sushi Masuda

  1. Pingback: Review: Kojyu | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review: Sushi Masuda | melhuang1972

  3. Pingback: Sushi Masuda (reblog) | Surviving Japan with a Smile

  4. Hi, I’m going to Tokyo in a month and was considering either going to Sushi Masuda or Sushisho Masa. This will be my first high end sushi experience/sushi experience in Tokyo. Which of the two places would you recommend for a first timer?

    • Hi there, it really depends on a few things, such as ability to make reservations (such as a hotel concierge/local friend), your level of adventurousness, etc. Masuda is more straighforward, but very solid. Sushisho Masa is a long experience that really shows many dimensions per item, as chef there would use 1 ingredient several ways. If you want me to elaborate feel free to email me.

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