Masuya Izakaya – Sydney
Sake! Kampai! Thank you Miss O for taking me out to dinner for a highly enjoyable evening of Japanese food and even better Sake. After dinner, I find myself really inspired to do a little more research on sake (Also, it was required of me to do so. All will be revealed at a later stage!) Understanding sake is takes quite a bit of effort and work. It is like wine, but has a preparation method more similar to beer.
Izakaya Masuya (not to be confused with Masuya Japanese restaurant next door) serves Japanese tapas style food in share plates, and has a good selection of sake in store.
It is located on street level.
When going through the menu, do not forget to take a look at the specials for the day. It changes from day to day, and this was one of those specials on the menu. Sea Urchin (uni) was available to order on that day. Sent a photo of the specials menu to Miss O and she texted back saying I definitely should order one of these. It arrived just as she walked through the door. Perfect timing.
The uni is fresh, smooth and creamy. It doesn’t taste fishy. For those of you who’ve always been curious about uni but have never had them, well, the best way I can sort of explain it is that the texture is kinda like pudding perhaps? It tastes like the ocean but it is not overly fishy. Miss O likes to eat it on its own, I enjoy it wrapped in a small piece of seaweed (nori sheet) for an extra bite, alternating it with sake. The rice based alcohol enhances the ocean flavours and removes any fishy after taste.
Pretty standard dish of classic Japanese food. Sashimi – sliced raw fish, is served up in a very impressively decorated dish and this was really nicely done indeed. The fish is fresh and delicious, great with wasabi and more sake of course!
A common bar snack. The chewy texture of grilled squid gives you something to chew on and savour while enjoying alcohol. The squid is still tender and not rubbery, I wish it was a little more charred for that extra crunch and a little more flavourful.
Pork skewers, can’t go wrong with pork belly. This was well cooked and has a good amount of fat, again I wish it was a little more charred. This was a little saltier than I expected. I should have squeezed lemon juice onto it before consuming.
I can keep going on and on about sake, but I’ll just keep it short. In summary:
- Sake flavours are very influenced by the rice polishing ratio. The % on the label represents the % of the grain remaining. The more polished the rice, the lighter the flavour. Junmai has an unspecified rice polishing ratio above 70%, Ginjo is polished to at least 60% while Daiginjo has less than 50% of the grain left.
- Sake name with the prefix “Junmai” means pure rice, and there’s no distilled alcohol added to it.
- Sake can be served warm or cold. For a sake with a higher polishing ratio (less grain remaining) such as Daiginjo, is generally served cold to enhance the light crisp tastes. Sake with a lower polishing ratio (more grain remaining) such as Junmai, can be served warm to enhance the rice flavours.
Quite a popular sake, the flavour is slightly sweet and refreshing. It is by far one of my favourite sakes.
This isn’t too bad too. It is not as sweet as Dassai 50, but is still quite refreshing.
Has quite a bold flavour. We had this served cold and you can taste the flavours of the sake without it overwhelming your taste buds. I would love to try this warm sometime. The name “otokoyama” – man mountain, is quite adorable I suppose. I would consider this flavour quite manly compared to the previous 2 sakes.
Not too sure if Miss O planned for the sake to be ordered in this particular order, but it was only when I was writing up this blog did I notice that we did drink the sake from the lightest to the heaviest brew.
I had a great time at Masuya Izakaya, food was pretty good, sake is great and the company was incredibly fantastic! I would love to head back to Masuya Izakaya again soon. The atmosphere of the place is rather dark, but considering it is an Izakaya (Japanese pub) setting, we didn’t find it difficult to talk over dinner. It gets crowded, caters for large groups and we would recommend that you book a table in advance.
For my next visit, I’m definitely going to get my hands on some oden and desserts.
*Invidiaz Eats Around dined at Masuya Izakaya as a special treat from Miss O on the 11th September 2015. Thank you Miss O for the wonderful experience! 😀