Restaurant review: Musashi

My friends and I decided to go for dinner on a Wednesday as we thought restaurants wouldn’t be too busy. This was definitely not the case at Musashi sushi bar.

The restaurant is located on Capel Street, tucked away among pawnbrokers, bars, and adult stores. Although these aren’t the most glamorous surroundings, don’t let that fool you. This place is a gem.

Closely-packed tables create an atmosphere that is intimate rather than cramped, and staff are friendly and attentive. The menu offers all the classic dishes you would expect from a Japanese restaurant with a fabulous range of sushi, sashimi and ramen to choose from.

Despite the fact there was a full house, service was quick. Our starters of tuna and salmon sashimi and miso soup were delivered within 10 minutes of ordering. The miso soup was flavoursome without being too salty, and the sashimi was incredible. It is easy to believe that raw fish will taste the same wherever you get it, but varying quality, freshness and cut can severely alter the taste. This was ocean-fresh, perfectly complemented by the ginger and ribbon-cut vegetables served alongside it, and perhaps the best sashimi I’ve ever had.

After our starters, expectations for the mains were high. Tofu steak went down a treat with everyone, beautifully crispy and not at all greasy. Another great choice for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike was the Ya sai Yaki Soba: stir-fried noodles with tofu, cashew nuts and oriental vegetables. Even when we were full enough to burst, people were fighting over the last scraps in this bowl.

The tatsuta chicken was a little dry, but the soya and ginger marinade made up for it. The star dish was the Musashi ramen: beef, prawns, chicken, tofu, shiitake mushrooms and oriental vegetables were served with noodles in a miso broth, resulting in a meal that still has me salivating days later.

A range of sake, Japanese beers and wine are available, although you can bring your own wine with a corkage price of 6 per bottle.

Prices were student-friendly and I would definitely recommend Musashi to sushi virgins and connoisseurs alike.

Keava O’Loan

Image credit: Laura Horan

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