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Sushi Matsumoto @ Kyoto

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Finding Sushi Matsumoto in Gion district was akin to weeding out a needle in a haystack, especially past sundown in winter every single shophouse looked the same.

Truth be told I had my list of sushi restaurants to try and it was a frantic situation of calling as many places to score seats in December. So either book a hotel with such awesome conceirge service, or pay for a booking service or really widen one's circle with Japanese speaking friends who also happen to reside in Japan.

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Alas, I spotted the somewhat familiar Japanese characters.

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I meant to focus on the uber cute wasabi root chopstick holder.

There were just two menus for the night, JPY 14,000 and JPY 17,000 which differed in the small plates served at the start.

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Gingko nuts for starters was an interesting choice, the nutty flavour of these chewy babies made me crave for more.

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These signal the start of my sushi course.

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What differentiates this omakase experience from the rest is, shoyu and shio are also served which is signature of Edo sushi. The rice is usually vinegared but Chef Matsumoto adds a dash of shoyu too, for that extra flavour which brings out a whole new dimension of delicious.

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Chef and his apprentices were perpetually busy.



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Those fingers are made for kneading sushi.

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Amadai, Hirame, Red Clam

I hardly get shell fish in my sashimi platter hence this was already a surprise. The combination worked for me, infact anything out of the usual salmon, tuna belly and swordfish combo works.

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Hirame

I am usually not a fan of this chewy fish, but Chef deftly made small incisions and somehow rendered it more tender.



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Ika

Milky and creamy was all I remembered of this and unless the squid is very fresh, they usually end up rubbery and a mouthful of goo.

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Uni Squid Leg Boiled

Very tender and sweet squid legs, I would not have been able to guess what this is anyway! Uni was definitely a highlight amidst the party of flavours.

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Kohada

Typically, these are moderately soft, very meaty and packed a slightly fishy smell.


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Meguro

I love my tuna in any cut so no fuss about the meguro, a lovely slice of heaven.

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Small Tuna smoked with soy sauce

Loved the smokeyness and how this melted in my mouth. I feel almost bad eating the young of a tuna but this was really just too good for any guilt tripping.


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Ootoro

Meguro is usually the icing on top of the cake and it gets better and better with more marbling. 

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Ankimo

Monkfish liver that was way better than foie gras, like butter, only better.

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Chutoro

So good though I'd have expected this would be a favourite.

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Ootoro

How many more times can good get better and better?

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Hamaguri

Cooked giant sweet clam, I cannot stop raving about how sweet this is and it packs a crunch with the chewyness. Officially, my favourite shell fish this trip.

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Sayori

Edo style sushi uses this alot and this mild tasting fish that actually contrasted with the vinegared rice.

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Mackerel

Without the usual fishyness, this was very palatable.

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Sake and sushi makeths life's simplest pleasures.

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There was alot of art in the way the sushi was made, from simple brush strokes to complex finger work in rice kneading.

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These prawns were sweet and crunchy. Truth be told I love these prawns as much as the tuna cuts.

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Amadai

Almost like ika in its creaminess.

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Small tuna smoked

Once again we meet the baby tuna and the flesh is so tender I  wish I can just eat them babies only.

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Crunchy red clam made its reappearance in sushi.

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With the gastronomical surprises that were served, ikura roe was so ordinary though these were popping orbs of joy.

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Uni was almost milky and very sweet and even in the world of sea urchin there are many grades. I like mine laced with a certain bittersweetness. 


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Anago

So smooth like a luxe version of mashed potato.

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Tamago

A sweet yet dense egg custard that would have been passed off as dessert with eyes closed.

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The tempo for the meal was quick and to the point, while I love my dinners slow and leisurely, sometimes they dragged too long for comfort and truly, this was perhaps the shortest omakase ever with minimal interaction with Chef Matsumoto who was affable yet a serious fellow.


Sushi Matsumoto
570-123 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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