Tag Archives: Fitzroy North

Matsu Hashi Sushi Boat

22 Apr

You know when you’re a little kid, and everything you own has, in one form or another, a novelty element attached to it? It’s almost as if having an object function in its own right isn’t enough to capture ones attention, like a curly straw or a those stupid sneakers with hidden wheels in them, or a bed that isn’t a bed unless it’s in the shape of a car,boat or castle.

Well I can safely say… not much has changed.  I still like to surround myself with things and experiences that have some sort of humor! A humor that I’d feared had LONG been lost (oh… now i’m talking meal time humor) since the changing hands of our favourite Japanese resturant Aya. Some of my fondest memories involve running amuck around that place, while the parents sat in the tatami rooms enjoying their food.  Taka San used to teach me origami and  let me help behind the sushi bar until of course… the piece de resistence… the sushi & sashimi boat platter was presented!  This was my favourite part of the night (besides dessert time of course)!

So Aya has long since changed hands, and it wasn’t until about 2 years ago, I thought the sushi & sashimi boat platter had sunk forever.  Until N moved to Northcote and after trying practically every eatery on High Street, they were forced to venture to the next suburb – and stumbled across Matsu Hashi.

Bean shoot appetizer

The thing we’ve come to love about this place – besides obviously this boat of seafood – is that it’s just good Japanese food, we can always get a table and the sushi/sashimi is always fresh.  There’s a wide sushi and sashimi offering, as well as your hot/cold entrees, main dishes, noodles/rice and hot pot (as in sukiyaki, shabu shabu and the like).  Oh and they are BYO, and don’t charge cake-age.  (Apparently charging anywhere between $4-$15 to cut and serve …nothing else… is becoming acceptable in many Melbourne establishments).  So YES!  Tonight’s impromptu sushi boat dinner was a WIN!

We arrived and were quickly presented our token appetizer.  This one is mostly beanshoots with a few – very few – shreds of capsicum, in a sweet vinaigrette.  It’s not the BEST appetizer i’ve had, but i’m not here for beanshoots!  So lets get to the good stuff.

Miso Soup

As we know why we are here, we get to ordering that first. One Deluxe House special for 2 people!   We also got some Miso Soup and entrees to nibble on before the main event sailed on up…

First to arrive was the miso.  Which funnily enough, came with sliced brown mushrooms and spinach, as opposed to the traditional Shitake Mushroom and Seaweed.  Bit of a surprise – not really authentic Japanese.

But it doesn’t taste bad, so i’m putting the ingredient substitution down to ‘humor’ of tonight’s chef. Next to arrive  is the Soft Shell Crab with Spicy Mayonaise.

The Crab is nice and meaty, and encased in a light batter that is freshly fried.  It’s crunchy, without overpowering the naturally sweet/fresh crab taste and the spicy mayonnaise is very subtle so it doesn’t swamp the fresh soft shell crab in creamy sogginess.  The spritz of fresh lemon is also an important touch.  Keeps the dish lively and cuts through the fat a little.

Soft Shell Crab $9.80

Very shortly after the Crab, came our other entree.  Being creatures of habit, whenever N and Mumsy eat here, there is always a vegetable element… and it is ALWAYS the Horenzo (spinach with sesame sauce).  Now, don’t get me wrong!  It doesn’t taste BAD… But seriously,it’s a pretty blande vegetable to have to get EVERY time!  Thankfully we went for Agedashi Tofu instead (for a change).

Agedashi Tofu $7.80

Not only is this the perfect vegetable substitute because a) it’s fried and Crispy skinned, and b) who doesn’t LOVE a pile of bonito flakes dancing gloriously before you devour it, but oh triple thread! The sauce to tofu ratio is just right.  Nothing worse then getting soggy fried tofu in too much sauce!  Not even dancing Bonito Flakes can save such soggy messes!

OK.  Entrees done, finally onto the real reason we are here!  We clear the table to make room for the wonderfully constructed boat of sushi & sashimi.

Deluxe House Special for 2

As you can see, it’s quite a lot fish.  As we ordered the 2 person serving, most of the sashimi pieces come in servings of 2, with sushi coming in 3.  So obviously besides the fact that this MASSIVE platter of raw fish arrives before us on a wooden ship, the quality of the sushi & sashimi is also fantastic.  (Each ‘Fish on Boat’ filling craving is satisfied by a slightly different offering of fish each time, chosen according to what is fresh on the day.)

It doesn’t seem like that much food for 3 people, but even I am surprisingly full and it was a bit of a struggle to finish the Boat.  Struggled, but Succeeded!!   So all that’s left is dessert – we are full, but dessert reserve is a separate stomach!  I normally like to order the Daifuku (Japanese Rice Cake with red bean filling) but give into peer pressure.

Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Bean paste $7.80

We all decide to go with a tried and tested classic, Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Bean Paste.  Eating this at the end of a meal is like eating a refresher towel!  It’s that perfect balance of that cold, bitter sweet green tea flavour with the texture of the red bean that sits so comfortably while helping with digestion in the belly… (aside from Origami, Taka San also informed me of the worlds best diet secret!  Green Tea Ice Cream aids digestion!!  Probably cannot be proven… but I don’t need much convincing.)

So all in all mission accomplished!  I got my dancing bonito flakes, a sushi platter served on a Boat, and the guiltless pleasure of Ice Cream to end our night of fine dining and humor!   Its nothing too fancy, but its consistent and familiar food.  I guess for some,  the child in us lives forever whether it be a distant memory, repressed or ever present. Lucky for me though, I can still rely on Matsu Hashi to get my novelty Giant Boat of Sushi… may the kid in us live forever!

Matsuhashi

388/390 Queens Parade

Fitzroy North

VIC 3068

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