Very Japanese-y with Masu
Masu. The restaurant’s name pops up in my feed once in awhile–with great recommendation–yet I seem to miss it despite my frequenting Federal Street. The glass walls fronting the restaurant blend so well with its surroundings–it is right next to SKYCITY Grand Hotel’s entrance–but once spotted immediately inspires Japanese food cravings.
The balance of wooden decor and dark stone in the interior feels natural and relaxing in contrast with the activity and busyness even at 6:30pm. It was when I tried the Spinach salad (with grapefruit, garlic chips, and maple soy) that I realised this was the place to be. The simple yet succulent starter set the standard for what was more to come–fresh ingredients, well balanced flavours and great attention to detail echoed throughout dinner.
Food at MASU is prepared in three different areas: the sushi bar, the kitchen, and the robata grill. These open areas create an engaging and lively atmosphere as the energy from the kitchen reverberates throughout the place. Dishes are served as they are prepared from each of the three areas which lends to the agreeable, informal mood. Excitement ensued as the plates land on our table, and with a group of six we never quite knew what was coming next. Staff suggested each person try around 5-6 dishes, which kept up the surprises.
Our group was particularly delighted with the arrival of the Chef’s 8 sashimi selection. Some Japanese restaurants in Auckland tend to get creative with presentation, but MASU’s interpretation had the elegance and finesse others often lack. In keeping with the visual appeal, the freshness of the sashimi selection really takes you out to sea - the prawn was just exquisite.
It doesn’t go unnoticed that the service was impeccably timed. Seconds after the sashimi selection was cleared, a new group of plates were brought in; the Eggplant with ginger miso, Prawn, snapper and spring onion gyoza, and Assorted seasonal vegetable tempura were all equally delicious. Portions are the perfect size to allow everyone a taste. The satisfaction of MASU really comes from the spreads of delectable dishes on the table and sharing them with friends.
With a vibrant and friendly atmosphere, MASU is definitely an enjoyable place to have great Japanese fare.
MASU by Nic Watt
90 Federal Street, SKYCITY, Auckland
+64 9 363-6278
In collaboration with SKYCITY. Views and opinions are my own.