Rating: ★★★★☆
Address: Shop A, UG/F, On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central 中環安慶臺1號安慶大廈地下A舖
Telephone: 2537 7787


現在正是日本櫻花盛開的季節,用櫻花葉做的菜式,不知道大家又有沒有試過? MASU是在安慶臺的日本餐廳,室內優雅闊落,現在直到五月中供應一個Sakura Tasting Menu,每位$480,有五道菜和一杯櫻花雞尾酒。想試的話就要在這幾星期去了!

We are sometimes spoiled for choice when it comes to decent Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. However, something that is a bit different from the usual, traditional Japanese fare is the Sakura Tasting Menu that MASU Robatayaki & Sushi is currently offering.

Run by the Privé Group, MASU is located in On Hing Building on On Hing Terrace, the building where some of your favourite clubs, such as PLAY, Billion Club and Levels, are situated. Opened in April 2012, MASU is a bright, spacious and modern eatery that serves, as its name suggests, robatayaki and a range of other Japanese foods.

As some of you may know, the Sakura season, also known as the Cherry Blossom season, is the time in spring when cherry blossoms bloom in Japan. The peak of the season varies every year and varies across different regions in the country, and this year, it is roughly between March and May. The Sakura Tasting Menu is a 5-course menu which costs $480 per head. The set dinner includes one alcoholic cocktail, and features various Sakura petals-infused dishes. As MASU sources all its sashimi and most of its other ingredients directly from Japan, this set dinner is very reasonably priced. The tasting menu is only available until mid-May, so do go in the next few weeks if you would like to try it.


(1) The first course on the menu was a Homemade Sakura Tofu with Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe. The tofu was slightly pink as it was made with sakura petals, which also gave it a subtle sweetness. The homemade tofu was delightfully creamy, and the sea urchin and salmon roe added extra flavours to it.


(2) The second course was the Seasonal Sakura Shrimp, Flounder Fish, and Prime Tuna Sashimi. The tuna tasted attractively fresh, and the flounder fish, touched by a bit of lime juice, was delicious. These tiny shrimps are called sakura shrimps as they are only available during the sakura season; they have been flown directly from Japan and are only available at some of the Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. They had a crunchier texture than normal shrimps as they were meant to be eaten together with the shells.


(3) The Sakura Roll, Botan Shrimp, and Hokkaido Sea Urchin Sushi followed. The sea urchin and the botan shrimp were delectable, and the latter was plump and melted adoringly in the mouth. The Sakura roll, topped with sea urchin and salmon roe, had some sakura leaves wrapped in it, which gave the roll a layer of crispy texture.


(4) The Shimeiji Mushroom wrapped with Kagoshima Pork Belly, Bamboo Shoot with fresh sweet Miso Dip, and Beef with Garlic and Ginger Sauce were smartly presented on an elongated platter. My favourite was the Shimeiji mushroom, as the crispy pork belly wrapped around it was perfectly complementary with its softness.  The bamboo shoot was beautifully seasoned and was excitingly crisp, and the beef with garlic and ginger sauce was enticingly fatty and indulgent.


(5) The Sakura Shrimp and Mixed Vegetable Tempura served with Inaniwa Udon was the last course before the dessert. I had already tried raw Sakura Shrimps in my second course, so it was interesting to try eating a deep fried version of them. The flavour of the tempura was good, but I wished it was a tad crunchier and less oily.


The inaniwa udon was smooth and springy.


(6) The dessert was Ice Cream, which you could choose from three flavours: peach, lychee and mango. I had a really difficult time choosing, so the manager kindly offered to let me pick two flavours instead of one! The lychee flavour was tropical and pleasant, but it was the peach ice cream that I liked the most – it had an alluring sweetness of juicy Japanese peaches.


The menu also included a Sakura Cocktail, but I didn’t ask for it as I didn’t feel like drinking that day.

This Sakura Tasting Menu is a great way to celebrate the beautiful Sakura season here in Hong Kong!