After a month’s absence from beloved Sydney, I had been missing out on a lot of things. The regular things – work and gym, and most importantly, catch ups with the girls.
Lara Croft and I have been doing regular cider and sushi nights every Tuesday fortnight and after a month absence without decent sushi, I organised this catch up two weeks before I was even scheduled to come back, that severe was my withdrawal. I was particularly missing avocado, as avocado isn’t a fruit that’s readily available in Asia.
I had visited Masuya previously on one occasion with the Sister, back before I became a sushi and sashimi convert, and so I thought that it would be a nice, fancy place for us girls to check out. With a booking made for 6.00 pm, we met for a gloriously delicious chilled cider down at Circular Quay before making our way to the restaurant on O’Connell Street.
The restaurant is underground and quite spacious and modern in design. It’s quite popular with the corporates working nearby, judging by the amount of take-away sushi platters that were being ordered by suited men throughout the night. After being greeted by the staff as we entered, Lara Croft and I were seated at a quiet back table in the corner. It was nice to have a quiet spot, although it was slightly inconvenient as we were seated behind a large pole and had trouble getting the attention of the staff throughout the evening.
Lara Croft was happy to let me choose so I went with a combination of our mutual favourites and something I occasionally order, just to make comparisons. I was worried that I ordered too much after placing the order, but funnily enough for two girls, our stomachs were near-bottomless during the night. We both had hot green tea, which arrived in a small metal teapot for the table, and they came around to replace the teapots when they were empty (complimentary refills, yay!).
Three dishes arrived at the same time, one being the Salmon and Avocado ($16.80) inside-out sushi roll which was a fresh salmon roll with avocado and wasabi mayonnaise. I was relieved that the mayo wasn’t heavy on the wasabi, and the chunks of fresh salmon were meaty and silky. The distribution of the avocado probably wasn’t as consistent as it could have been (as you can see there’s very little in the first slice here), but it was a satisfying roll.
With it arrived the Salmon Carpaccio ($14.80), which was thinly sliced salmon with salted konbu, dashi ponzu with a touch of fresh lime juice.
I was surprised that there was so little konbu (dried seaweed), but I enjoyed the thin slices of fresh salmon, the fibres in which were ever so slightly ‘cooked’ from the acidity of the ponzu and lime juice. Lara Croft didn’t particularly enjoy it though, preferring the generous chunks in the salmon roll.
What also arrived at the same time was the Karaage Soft Shell Crab ($14.80), that we had ordered entree size. It was a crispy soft shell crab with sweet chilli and wasabi mayonnaise sauce.
I really don’t think there’s a better accompaniment to kaarage soft shell crab than sweet chilli sauce. The crab had been cut into generous portions, resting on a (curious) boiled potato that had been smashed, and a decorative lettuce leaf. The crab was meaty, crunchy, with bits of delicious yellow roe.
I had wanted to take a photo of all of the dishes together but the Spider Roll ($18.80) was taking forever to come out. I would have thought the crab for the spider roll would have been deep fried at the same time as our karaage? We waited for a while, not touching any of the sushi or the crab, until I eventually gave leave to Lara Croft to dig in lest the crab get cold. Only then did the spider roll arrive!
The spider roll was filled with soft shell crab, crab sticks, avocado and cucumber with a chilli mayonnaise. With cucumber being my nemesis, I pushed it away and Lara Croft was happy to suffer by loaning me her stomach and consuming it for me. The spider roll was moreish and fresh, although the nori on the outside did get a little chewy and there were moments where I ended up with one end of the nori between my teeth and the rest of the sushi roll disemboweled on my plate in a mess (albeit still tasty!).
Overall, it’s a nice, spacious restaurant with mostly good service and fresh seafood. The restaurant is more known for their sashimi and sushi ‘boats’ and hot pots, although with only us two girls, we didn’t think we could eat that much seafood that evening. It’s a good location for people who are working nearby, although I do think that for the price that you are paying, there’s also a lot of other decent Japanese restaurants around the Sydney CBD that will serve similar quality for a little less on your pocket.
Masuya Japanese Seafood Restaurant
12-14 O’Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9235 2717