Matsuri Restaurant Review – Fine Japanese Dining
Published 23 December 2009
Matsuri is tucked away a few streets off Piccadilly road and combines authentic modern Japanese décor, great atmosphere and some of the best Japanese food you could hope to taste.
Matsuri has both discrete tables for intimate dining and large teppan-yaki tables which are perfect for larger groups and special occasions. One of the best aspects of their approach to teppan-yaki dining is their complete avoidance of gimmicks & tricks; instead they have simple fresh food prepared in front of you without the chefs showing off, throwing knives in the air, etc. Though some might find this a tad disappointing I found it works much better for a group or party atmosphere as you can have your own conversations without being interrupted by a chef wanting to throw food at you!
Though the food is fantastic it is very expensive, but for the right occasion it is absolutely worth every penny. The food is faultless in preparation and their selection of wine and Japanese beverages is superb. Due to the high prices I highly recommend opting for one of the menus as you have a choice of main course and starter combined with several small dishes served as appetizers. You get up to five courses and they are excellently balanced as the first few are smaller, lighter dishes which whet your appetite for the heavier main courses. The cheapest menu available is still a pricey £48 but the quality is second to none. Their steak is especially good as it is some of the tenderest I have ever tasted and it practically melts in your mouth.
Anyone searching for the infamous Kobe beef (the finest beef on the planet for the uninitiated) would do well to search out Matsuri, although it is very expensive (£160 for a set meal including it). Like all Japanese and Asian cuisine the dessert menu is rather limited as you only have two options, one being a sorbet, but the other a flambéed ice cream dish that is prepared on the teppan-yaki stove. I opted for the latter and found to my delight that not only is it delicious but the chance to see flaming ice cream is one not to be missed!
Matsuri also has a sushi bar and individual tables where typical Japanese fare is served, and while their regular dishes and sushi is good, most of the Japanese restaurants in Chinatown offer similar quality for a fraction of the price.
Matsuri is not the place for a cheap or quick bite but if you are looking for somewhere to have a great evening with friends, this fabulous teppan-yaki restaurant combines great food and atmosphere in the simple and elegant way you can only expect from fine Japanese dining.
Rating: 6 out of 10 stars
Cuisine: Fine Japanese dining, with a strength in teppan-yaki
Price Range: £48 per person for a teppanyaki set menu
Address: Matsuri St James’s, 15 Bury Street, Mayfair, London SW1Y 6AL (location map)
Nearest Tube Stations: Green Park Tube Station (5 minutes walk), Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (8 minutes walk)
Tel for Booking: +44 020 7839 1101
Note: Matsuri used to have a branch on High Holborn in London, but it has closed recently due to the recent fire in that area. At the moment there is no word from the management if it will be reopened in the near future.
Review written by Aneil Fatania