Located along the quieter part of Gouger Street, Matsuri specialises in Japanese cuisine. Among their most notable dishes are "Funamori", a selection of sushi and sashimi on a boat shaped platter. Their menu is also noted for changing every three months to keep the selection of food fresh. We visited Matsuri because we wanted to try Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki (not many Japanese restaurants in Adelaide offer these two dishes). In additional to these two dishes, we also ordered their Chicken Teriyaki, Tempura and Pork Shogayaki.
A great choice for cold weather, Matsuri offers two types of hot pot dishes - Sukiyaki and Shabu-Shabu. Shabu-Shabu is enjoyed in a similar way to Chinese Steamboat - the diners cook the thinly sliced beef and vegetables themselves in a savoury broth before dipping it into one of the three dipping sauces provided.
Beef for Shabu-Shabu (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Sukiyaki, on the other hand comes with the beef and vegetables already assembled in the pot with a raw egg provided as the "dipping sauce". To prepare the dipping sauce, you crack the egg into a bowl and mix it up. If you do not like the taste of raw egg, you can add some hot stock into the mixture. The broth of Sukiyaki has a sweeter taste than that of Shabu-Shabu. The flavour of the broth becomes more intense as the water dries out and hot water can be requested to dilute the broth. My family members all favour Matsuri's Sukiyaki to their Shabu-Shabu because it was a more flavoursome dish.
Sukiyaki (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Pork Shogayaki was one of the items from their specials board, featuring slices of pork belly fried in a ginger sauce. The pork was cooked just right with the ginger sauce heightening its flavour without overwhelming it. It came served with a refreshing salad to help balance out the rich flavour of the pork.
Tempura is a dish I often order at Japanese restaurants because it's one of my favourite Japanese dishes. The tempura dish at Matsuri featured a selection of seafood and vegetables coated in batter before being deep-fried. While I found the Tempura served here to be not as good as the one from Hotaru, it was still fried to a crispy consistency with the seafood and vegetables cooked to perfection. As expected, a special dipping sauce known as tentsuyu sauce is served with the tempura to dip it in.
Tempura (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The chicken in their Chicken Teriyaki was tender with the sweet sauce coating it bringing out its flavour. Much like the Pork Shogayaki, a salad is served with it to balance things out with a lemon wedge provided to squeeze over the salad to give it a bit of a tangy flavour.
Chicken Teriyaki (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ambience is that of a Japanese restaurant with the choice of conventional seating or in an area with tatami mats that requires you to remove your shoes. A good amount of free parking is available on the street where the restaurant is located but they tend to fill up quickly during the peak dinner hour.