Address: Sky City Grand Hotel, 90 Federal Street, Auckland
Located on Federal Street and in the heart of Auckland, from the outside Masu is somewhat deceiving. The restaurant looked small however upon entering, we were quite taken with the length of the establishment. We were impressed at the size of the open kitchen, which was a hive of activity. Dishes were prepared in three separate areas – the sushi bar, the kitchen and the robata grill, and amongst the noise of the head chef yelling orders, all chefs and kitchenhands were very clearly aware of their specific role in the kitchen. Service was professional from the start and we were particularly impressed with the round tables which were assigned to larger groups.
The menu was designed for sharing and is broken up into sections – sushi bar, kitchen, and robata grill. This aligns with the separate food preparation areas in the kitchen and from sashimi to gyoza to tempura, all the Japanese favourites were there. There were also two set menu options, Masu Shomi and Masu Tokushen. Masu Tokushen is $120pp and the Masu Shomi option is $88pp. Both set menus require the whole table to order and showcase an excellent selection of dishes listed on the main menu. The menu is friendly to those who are gluten intolerant and a selection of dishes can be altered on request. If you’re not a seafood or meat lover, you may find the menu a little challenging.
Firstly, the presentation of dishes was absolutely first class. Secondly, we were in seafood heaven! Our table ordered the Masu Shomi set menu option. We started our evening with a ceviche spicy miso taco, and this was followed by sashimi including a salmon tartare which went with the homemade rice crackers. Set menu or not, we highly recommend the salmon tartare!! We then had a spicy sashimi tempura maki, followed by prawn and snapper gyoza’s and a spinach and grapefruit salad. The main dishes presented included Mount Cook king salmon with grapefruit miso and pickled cucumber, as well as lamb cutlets and broccoli. After over 1.5 hours eating (allow at least 2 hours for a set menu), we were presented with the most magnificent dessert platter. From chocolate and hazelnut pudding to an assortment of gelato’s and macarons, this dessert went down very well. We did think however that the dessert platter wasn’t as friendly when it came to sharing compared to other dishes. We accompanied our meal with a glass of the 2014 Cros Henri (Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc) and we were all in agreement that the Mount Cook king salmon was the winning dish.
Absolutely fabulous – we couldn’t fault the whole experience. Service was excellent, food was extremely fresh and flavoursome and the atmosphere was spot on. We’d be very surprised if Japanese cuisine fans weren’t impressed with Masu.