MASU is one of the most unique Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, since it is owned by the PRIVE Group – which owns some of the best night clubs in town including PRIVE and LEVELS. Not only that but MASU is located right beneath the building where many Lan Kwai Fong regulars will consider as the hottest Night clubs building in HK. On this revisit, they invited us over to have a preview tasting of their $680 for 6 Sakes x 9 Courses Pairing dinner course. This was meant to be a once-off event on the 24th of October but given such short notice, the restaurant will try to extend this offer until November 2013 sometime. Apparently the reason they couldn’t offer this Sake deal continuously in the long term is purely because some of the Sakes being served this week were quite limited in availability. Watch out for their updated news on the Prive Group Facebook page if you are to catch this deal again soon: www.privegroup.hk
Currently, they have an All-You-Can-Eat US Beef and Japanese Crabs Shabu Shabu for $530 -
I would so love to try this too, but tonight was more about sakes and meal pairing.
Reason to come back during Winter soon!
Chefs and Counter Seki -
Hard to fathom that this is found under the hottest Night clubs in town in Lan Kwai Fong, Central. The above night clubs at PLAY and LEVELS are exceptional venues and my top picks in town.
Course 1: Raw Masumi Nama-Sake with 3 Appetizers.
The sake is unpasteurized and served freshly-chilled.
It comes with Jelly fish, Crab meat with salmon roes, also some Burdock and takuan pickles. ~ 7/10
Course No. 2 - a Hiya-Oroshi Junmaiginjo sake,
with Sashimi of Hamachi, Scallops & Ikura, and Red Tuna
The pairing was interesting as the sake was quite fruity and slightly spicy, and this Cold sake hiyaoroshi is an Autumn’s only drink, which probably worked well with the wasabi we judiciously placed onto each individual sashimi piece! ~ 7.5/10
I liked the very sweet Hokkaido Scallops the best -
The tuna was also good but the scallops had no funny tastes and hence why I like them so much.
Pure fresh sweetness today. On the other hand, I think the Tuna can be sliced thicker to be closer to tradition.
Course No. 3 - Yoshidai Junmai Daiginjo
with Sushi of Toro, Seared Salmon and Hamachi, & Signature MASU Roll
The sake was sweet but had a strong rice flavour, I can so see why this was used as a pairing with the sushi. The Tuna toro quality was pretty decent and had a good tuna meat taste & oily balanced point. The seared salmon meanwhile was fatty but could be more seared to release more oil and aroma ~ 7/10
The Masu Roll has Minced Toro, Ikura and Sea Urchin -
This combination is naturally adorable and traditional. I was told that the Chef is adept at making slightly modernized Japanese food and sometimes with a Western twist if it’s needed. This was only the beginning.. We will see if that promised bit eventuates one day.
Course No. 4 – Hamaguri Clams Soup
With a good amount of clams and mushrooms and subtly herbed.
This was sweet and actually I think it needed more salt as it was too clam-juice sweet and may be it could do with some yuzu zest as encountered elsewhere? A bit of Mitsuba herb will also help elevate this into another level I believe ~ 6.9/10
Course No. 5 - Tedorigawa Yamahai Daiginjo sake,
with Sukiyaki Beef and Tofu
Not an expert on sake but the Yamahai process definitely resulted in a more robust pronounced flavour and a drier style which worked well with the mirin and soy based sauce and beef. I liked how this dish came with some grilled tofu and spinach parcels. I don’t mind more beef though either and I did say the same on the spot.. ~ 7/10
Course No. 6 – Rihaku Taruzake
with Grilled Kagoshima Pork belly & Minced Chicken and Asparagus
Back to more familiar territory, 1st of all the cedar-aged Sake was slightly smoky yet more on the sweetish side. When served in the wooden masu box which this restaurant is named after, the woodiness went through the roof. It definitely is a no-brainer pairing with chargrilled items. The Kagoshima pork was the highlight as it had that strong Kurobuta pork taste. The minced chicken balls in the meanwhile were a bit too soft and under-caramelized to me. ~ 9/10 & 5/10
Course No. 7 – Assorted Tempura with Dassai Sparkling Junmai Daiginjo sake -
The tempura items had a crisp light batter, the highlight was the kisu whiting tempura for me. If you look carefully, they chose to also fried some green vegetables and some purple eggplants for contrast of colors and taste, this is the correct Japanese spirit. The sparkling sake was sweetish to me but it worked almost like pairing Fish and Chips with an Ale rather than a Lager, just because it could. ~ 7/10
Course No. 8 – Cold Udons
This was done pretty accurately and actually it’s quite traditional.
I heard that MASU will be changing from this traditional approach and evolving into something more experimental, let’s hope it all works in the end.. I reserve my final judgment of that ~ 8/10
Ending Course No.9 - Peach Sorbet
A little bit icy and although very peachy fragrant at the beginning, was a little sweet in the finish. But nicely refreshing. ~ 6.9/10 Note that this full Sake Tasting Menu has been extended but is subject to the restaurant’s availability. Also I just discovered that during Fri-Sat, MASU is open until early 3am for supper. Good new for the regular Clubbers yay!
Price: $680 + 10% (Meal was by Invitation as preview Tasting)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Ease of Access: 4/5
Mon to Thurs - 11:00am to 15:00pm, 18:00pm to 23:00pm
Fri to Sat - 11:00am to 15:00pm, 18:00pm to 03:00am
UG/F On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central
Ph: 2537 7787