July 22, 2011

Matsu--Japanese Restaurant in Batu Ferringhi

After two attempts to dine at Matsu, we finally succeeded.  Hubby called to have a reservation made earlier.  Matsu is the latest Japanese Restaurant in town.  On two other occasions, we arrived to find the restaurant fully occupied.  The design of this restaurant is neat and has a welcome feeling. The pine coloured furniture made the atmosphere pleasant. The tables placed quite far apart gave me some dining privacy.   
Matsu's menu is quite extensive.  Everything is ala carte and no set meals available.  That meant no bento in the menu.  A look at the menu told us that we would be spoilt for choice and we were.  We did not know what to order!  So we sought the waiter's help.  
We were served a plate of appetiser.  It was sliced red tuna, Japanese cucumber tossed in chilli sauce.  Oh my, this is awesome.  The tuna was sliced and it was so fresh.  The chilli dressing was out extraordinary.  The texture of the tuna had us duped.  We thought it was beef.  That was just the appetiser!  This dish is FOC.


We ordered the Tempura Mori Wase (rm23).  This is something I normally do not leave out.  When I took a first bite, I thought the batter was too thick.  We had to eat it quickly as it was not that crispy even when served. Other than the grouse on the crispiness of the batter, I have to say the taste was delactable.
Our next order was a plate of Alaska Roll (rm23).  These rolls were rolled with salmon skin.  According to the waiter, it is one of the restaurant's specialities.
I loved this roll.  It was something different and the first time I had a roll without the seaweed on the outside.  There was still seaweed.  This time the seaweed was coated with batter and deep fried. It was placed in the centre.  The Alaska roll was extraordinary in taste.  
The next plate of delicacy was the Hotate Yaki (rm20).  Other than the scallops being fresh and juicy, it was nothing to shout.  A plate of very ordinary grilled scallops with black pepper sprinkled.
I loved the sight of the Salmon Fried Rice (rm23) when it arrived. The rice arrived served in a bowl that looked like a mortar.  I loved the idea.  Fragrance drifted from the rice as it was placed on our table.
I had only nice words for the rice as I dug into it.  The rice was grainy but not hard.  Most important to us, it was not mushy.  The rice was full of taste.  There were eggs, spring onions, salmon pieces, seaweed, etc.  Despite it being fried with pieces of salmon, you do not get the 'fishy smell'.  It was just so lovely.  Even hubby agreed fully when I asked as he munched the rice.
Our next plate of food had both of us bowled over.  It was Kohitsuki Miso Yaki (rm48).  A plate of grilled lamb cutlets seasoned with miso.  Oh my, oh my, the lamb pieces were so tender. It just melts in my mouth.  Hubby kept saying, 'This is good'.  I agreed.  Both of us have never tasted lamb prepared this way. It was very tasty with the miso and grilled to perfection.  I would say...do not give this a miss should you visit Matsu. The pieces of squash and shitake mushrooms were also grilled to perfection.
We had two different kinds of Chawan Mushi.  One was the Unagi (eel) Chawan mushi (rm10). The unagi one tasted better (picture above).  The eel was thinly sliced and deep-fried.  That gave it a smoky taste and it was something different.
The Chawan Mushi with mushroom, crabstick and others was just ordinary. 

I was still greedy so we had desserts.  There were so many types listed on the menu and we were 'lost'.  In the end, we settled for the dessert platter (rm35). On the plate a cup of watermelon sorbet, a big spoon with a mould of pumpkin pudding, a piece of green tea tiramisu and a scoop of black sesame ice cream. 
The pumpkin pudding was a new taste for both of us. 
The green tea tiramisu, it was deliciously good!  That piece of tiramisu was light yet creamy. 
For the portion served, I thought it was a bit pricey. (I think those with E & O card, you will get the card's privileges dining here.) 
Matsu is located on the annexe of Lone Pine Hotel. 97 Batu Ferringhi, Penang. Malaysia
Tel No:04-8811511 & 04-8811282. **I think it would be wise to call and make a reservation esp. during weekends.:o)  **10% Service charge & 6% Government Tax.