Big Day Out started something. A dangerous something. A total obsession with salmon.
It’s odd how seafood does that to you. How you won’t like it, won’t like it, won’t like it and then one day you taste it and the flavour clicks in your mouth and all of a sudden you’re hooked.
That’s what happened at Big Day Out. Small morsels of salmon tataki from Masu. Small, perfectly formed, delicious, citrus infused morsels of salmon. Mmmm salmon.
So with that detail imprinted into my mind a return trip was in order. I had to have more. I needed to have more! I was at Masu in less than a week.
Now Masu at Big Day Out and Masu the restaurant are quite different beasts. Masu at Big Day Out was just another street vendor, delicious but nevertheless a street vendor. Masu the restaurant is a bit of a flash guy. Part of SkyCity it sits next door to Depot but is nothing like it’s neighbour. On entry multiple waiters greet you and a bowl of chilled water with towels is passed to you to wash your grubby mits. A waiter explains the menu and then you hop to ordering. It was a bit more glittery than your usual Japanese Izakaya experience but we were there for a reason.
With 360 to attend in less than an hour we quickly ordered our picks – Salmon Tataki, Soft Shell Crab Sushi, Soy Glazed Tofu and Broccoli with Moromi Miso and Ginger dressing, accompanied with a Pinku and Kissy Suzuki Cocktail for good measure. It wasn’t a huge feast, just something to fill the gap before the show and fill the gap it did. The Salmon Tataki was once again divine and the Soft Shell Crab Sushi so good that we had to order a second plate. The tofu and broccoli rounded out the meal nicely.
Objectively there’s nothing that different about the food at Masu when compared to any other good Izakaya restaurant, it’s as delicious as you’d expect and has all the usual offerings. It isn’t even more expensive! What makes it a bit more special are those cocktails (insanely good) and the option to sit up against the kitchen, watching the chefs work their magic.
Would I head back again? Well for that salmon tataki, most definitely.
Masu, you’ve started something.