My sister used to study here when back in 1994, and Matsuri had already existed right where is located now. They have since done quite a bit of renovations – especially the outside of their establishment.
I have returned to this place many times largely due to their reasonable prices (relative to the size of their portions) and their quick service. However, I can’t help but feel that it’s become a tad bit like a restaurant working on mass production for their food.
Anyhow. Onto the technical bits of the place!
Matsuri prides itself with the set meals that it offers to the customers… from sashimi sets, to tempura udon sets, to other sushi sets, this place is definitely a go-er for those who feel a tad hungry!
They have got a rather variety of entrees too, but their servings for them are a tad on the small side. I have tried a couple of them but only have a weak spot for one of them, which I will talk about in a moment!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a photo of the drinks menu, but they do have one, with wine and beer on the list… Sapparo and Asahi would be the choices I would go for, considering they are Japanese beer. My personal pick would be Asahi :)
So… onto the orders fo this evening… I decided to take my usual, with my mates ordering the popular dishes too:
- Tempura Udon Set (ME!)
- Una Don Set (i.e. Grilled eel with some yummy marinade and rice)
- Oyako Don Set (i.e. chicken/pork cooked with some egg over a bed of rice)
We had my favourite entree too!
- Tako Ponzu (Cooked octopus with seaweed drenched with a nice vinegar and lime sauce…)
So my mouth’s already watering just mentioning that entree.
Before I dive into the details of each set… there are some common side dishes for each set that you order:
Salad (with a great dressing!!)
Miso soup (who wouldn’t love some?)
Sauteed bean sprouts (not a favourite for some, but I love it)
The takoponzu is my personal favourite entree of all time, and it is usually this dish that pulls me back to Matsuri. The only restaurant to serve this (to my knowledge thus far at least) here in Perth, it certainly brings your appetite up. The slight sourness of the vinegar and the tangy feel of the lime just makes one a happy camper. :) I know I am everytime I have this. Even for those who are not too fond of sour things, please do give this a shot. I would give this a 4.5/5 as a dish!
The tempura udon has always been quite a favourite of mine. The difference between this place and other japanese places I have been to is that they assume the tempura dish to be on its own, thus they will place the tempura separately on a plate, with the tempura sauce on the side. Most places would serve the tempura on top of the udon in soup, making it soggy once you start digging in (not a plus for many). They also give a little serving of sushi, which is made up of avocado, fresh salmon, and a little bit of japanese mayonnaise.
The udon in soup is quite plain, but it will do much better if you just ask for some chilli powder from any of the friendly waitresses. this dish is filling, so for anyone who’s looking for a quick and rather yummy fix to the tummy (especially if you’re thinking of partying that very night without getting too pissed)… then this is one order you can go with :)
The una-don looked pale in comparison to the tempura udon set, in terms of the serving and content of the set. Served in a typical japanese rice box, the eel was placed on top of the rice and it is quite a generous serve. To those who haven’t tried eel, it’s a fish but has a rather slimey feel to it. I would be a fan if not for my rather high cholestrol levels. It sits very nicely on the pallette (for most people)… but it can get a tad fishy. The sauce that they smear on top of it is really tasty (this is common in most japanese places).
The oyako don would be the order for the one who wants something towards the normal end of the scale, altho’ it can be rather tasty. I have not tried this dish personally, but I have heard average reviews about the taste. Just like the una-don, it comes with the rice box, chicken and egg on top of a bed of rice.
The service is effective, however it takes a while to get the attention of the waitresses sometimes, largely due to how busy they all are. As with most japanese places, they’ve got a rather friendly crew there, always willing to make your meal a little more enjoyable wherever they can help it.
Do be aware that they have “booking hours” due to how popular and busy they are. They are all featured on the website. Do have a look.
The quality of the food has gone downhill over the years in my opinion, and if it’s not for the takoponzu, I find myself only going there if friends suggest that place. However, it will still be worth going because this is a good place to have a dinner in the city without feeling too much pain from the money-pouch perspective.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T
Matsuri Japanese Restaurant
Telephone: (08) 9322 7737
Address: Lower Plaza QV1 250 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA 6000, Australia