Restaurant ・ Japanese
The former Rozan space has reopened as Sushi Masataka on Wan Chai’s Cross Lane. It is named after its executive chef Masataka Fujisawa, whose solid techniques and impressive selection of seasonal seafood garnered a strong following of local sushi lovers.
The new restaurant space is revealed behind a simple sliding door, where a simple square of a room intimately seats nine guests. Similar to a fine sushi restaurant, guests are seated facing the open sushi counter, equipped with a wooden bar overlooking the chefs’ preparation of dinner. Seating may be a little tight as guests are encouraged to snuggle into their seats which are set a single file with little elbow room.
Sushi Masataka offers two omakase dinner menus: 14-courses and 18-courses. Each menu consists of seafood starters, followed by a collection of Edomae sushi and hand rolls, miso soup and dessert. Our dinner began with the shima aji (horsehead mackerel), chopped and dressed with a refreshing white miso sauce and topped with sansho (mountain pepper) flowers, offering a fresh and herbaceous start of the meal. The kawahagi (filefish) was served with a creamy dressing made with its liver. Both starters brought rich textures and great ones to start the sushi offerings ahead.
You can rely on seasonal catch for Masa-san’s sushi offerings. The squid is beautifully scored with an intricate pattern, much like the akagai (ark shell clam), amaebi (shrimps), and Hokkaido uni (sea urchin), served with sushi rice atop a square of crisp seaweed.
The anago (conger eel) was grilled wrapped in bamboo leaves, and was served two-ways, straight with no seasoning followed by one with an eel sauce. In general the sushi rice was seasoned well; if only it was less wet and better formed, as some of the sushi pieces were on the cusp of breaking apart when picked up.
Additional dishes were the highlights of dinner, kinmedai (golden eyed alfonsino) were thinly sliced and refreshingly served alongside wasabi greens, a simple yet impressive combination. The hamaguri, a hearty clam, was served whole and in its warm briny juice. One can expect sweet, clean flavours from the tender flesh. The tako (octopus) was one of the highlights. A single piece from the tentacle yielded to the bite with just a hint of lime zest to enhance its depth.
The meal ended with tamago (egg), sweet and rich to taste but it would be better if we could taste the shrimp added in the custard mix. Dessert was a single peeled Kyoho grape, a rather underwhelming finale.
Sushi Masataka offers no wines, only sake. While the Junmai Daiginjyo selection is extensively ranging across Japan’s different regions, the most affordable bottle of sake costs slightly less than HK$1,000, with the rest comfortably priced beyond that. Tea lovers will enjoy a frequent change of hot green tea, together with a fresh brew of houjicha near the end of the meal.
Service is on point at Sushi Masataka, though some kinks need working on. Dinner service runs on two sessions, the first from 6:00pm to 8:00pm with the second session after 8pm. We were informed of the sessions only after we placed and confirmed our 6:30pm, which led us through a rather rushed meal to make room for the next sessions’ diners.
Our service during dinner was impressive, Masa-san and his chefs were keen on introducing each item on offer, while the rest of the staff offered more in-depth descriptions. While our “no Bluefin tuna” request was not acknowledged at the time of booking, the chefs were keen on getting alternatives ready promptly.
An omakase dinner for two without sake amounts to slightly over HK$4,500. Sushi Masataka offers a satisfying sushi experience with solid execution and seasonal catches, although if guests decide to skip the Bluefin tuna, the price tag may not fully justify the quality and seafood varieties served in its place.