Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sushi Love

There's no better way to spend Valentine's Day than with good sushi with your love. We've been privileged eating some of the best sushi so we're really picky. But finally, we found great sushi at Matsuri at the Maritime Hotel. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the red, yellow, and white lanterns, the unique decor and ceilings, and the enormous sweeping space. It felt like you were in a large ship. It's an eye-popping in-your-face Japanese restaurant (very different from the usually subdued looking Japanese restaurants). Then again, this is New York.

This is the smaller upstairs area with a large bar. We loved the blue tile walls. We also liked the ecclectic mix of world and soul music they were playing. Oh, and their bathrooms were incredibly clean and incredibly scented.

The sushi bar was fairly small compared to the huge dining space. They seated us in the main dining room, but we later chose to move to the sushi bar. Although they had some interesting dishes like Unagi pie, Kakuni, and Sake Black Cod, if we're gonna spend money, we're gonna spend money on our main squeeze, sushi. So we hit the sushi bar. If you love sushi, that's where you should sit.

The sushi we had - hotate, mirugai, hamachi, sake, uni, and unagi - were excellent. The portions were a bit smaller than we like but the fish were fresh and of high quality. The unagi was also the best unagi we've ever tried. That's a bold statement but it's the truth. The mirugai, our favorite sushi, was also great but we've had better (it's hard to top Mitch's sushi back home). Now, uni (sea urchin) is something we normally loathe (the taste is weird and it looks like a funky mix of intestines and baby diarrhea); however, we thought we'd try our luck with Masturi's uni and we're so glad we did because it was the best uni we've also ever had. The sushi chef told us that like us most people hate uni because of its bitter taste Iin addition to the look and texture) and that's because other sushi restauranst use the small uni, but here they use the large uni, which tastes much sweeter.

The delicious green tea tirimisu with red bean ice cream. They put a lot of macha on top. This one would be a great way to end the night . . .

But we appropriately ended our night with two more orders of uni and MIRUGAI. Matsuri is also known for its large sake menu - over 200 kind of sake. But if you're going to go for sake, try their Daruma, their house sake made by their renowned sake brewer. We, on the other hand, opted not to partake in the sake sampling because a place like this can get expensive, it's wiser to spend the money on the high quality sushi and buy a large bottle of cheap $10 sake on the way home. Kampai!