Matsuri in the Maritime Hotel
I really wanted to check out the new Matsuri restaurant in the Maritime Hotel. I heard great things about the food and architecture. Everyone was right.
One of the best things they did was create a huge bar area that overlooks the main restaurant. I love that. There is ample seating in the bar area. Stools at the bar, tables around the floor and booths around the perimeter. Plenty of space for walk-ins. The decor is simple, asian in feel and warm.
The menu for sakes is extraordinary. I'd say over 100 different types of sakes from regions all over Japan. Sakes are broken up by region and coded by types such as rice wine, premium rice wine, premium unfiltered rice wine, etc. The waiter was incredibly helpful in choosing the sake of our liking.
There are a variety of different appetizers which is what we ate. I prefer the grazing than having a full on meal. Although, they do have a selection of noodle, rice and vegetable dishes and main entrees. We started with a braised lotus root with a spicy sauce that was recommended by our waiter instead of edamame. WOW! Crunchy with a hint of spice. We had oysters covered with roe, salmon marinated in ginger and soy over lotus roots which was fantastic, grilled sardines, poached yellowtail in a ginger soy broth, and eel cucumber rolls without rice. Once we started, we had to keep going. We had a variety of sushi next. Each piece was delicious.
It was really refreshing to be in a new restaurant with great food, good service and intelligently designed. Sometimes you read of all the hype surrounding a new place and find yourself so disappointed when you leave so you migrate back to old haunts. Matsuri is a new place that I will certainly find myself at again, and again, and again.