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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Musashi Dining Bar, Sydney


The problem with good budget eats is that everyone else seems to know about them. And so Musashi is no longer a place you can casually drop into for a bite to eat. Packed with people both at lunch and dinner-time, you must either plan ahead and book, or otherwise arrive extra early.

On a Friday night before Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays (a fantastic show that was both heartfelt and entertaining) we arrive at Musashi at 6.15pm. By 6.45pm the place is full, and the entrance to the corner restaurant is flanked by a hovering hungry crowd.

Wagyu yakiniku beef $16.80

We start off by sharing a serving of the wagyu yakiniku beef. Tender in parts, it's not as mouthwateringly juicy as we'd initially hoped. A sweet ponzu sauce adds an element of citrus. It's accompanied by a sticky onigiri rice ball--shaped into a triangle and flavoured with pickled radish--and vegetables that include crunchy bean sprouts, a floret of broccoli, slices of cooked carrot and a small mound of mashed potato.

karaage chicken
Karaage chicken $7.80

Karaage chicken is a golden crunch on the outside, juicy and moist within. Mayonnaise is piped onto the plate like icing, and the raw crunch of cabbage and lettuce provides a little oil-free relief.

obento box
Musashi dinner bento box $15.00

Three of us end up ordering the dinner bento box, a treasure trove of delights that is yours for an outrageously modest fifteen dollars.

The dinner bento is packed to the rafters with so many options, deciding where to start is the biggest dilemma. A silver patty pan holds slices of teriyaki chicken, all sticky and sweet. Nigiri sushi is topped with sashimi tuna, salmon and cooked prawn. A pocket of tofu-wrapped inarizushi is sweet and salty.

Teriyaki chicken

Nigiri sushi

Two rounds of makizushi (see top photo) contain cucumber, seafood stick and tamago egg omelette. The battleship-style gunkan makizushi hold ribbons of salmon with pickles, and a glistening heap of salmon roe (disappointingly deflated and sorry-looking).

The deep-fried compartment is surpisingly tasty though. A potato croquette is soft, the prawn is sweet and flavoursome, and a skewer of beef is tender.

Crumbed and deep-fried beef, potato and prawn

The little square in the middle of our obento box holds three grapes for dessert, but if there's one thing I've come to Musashi here for, it's their previously discovered green tea creme brulee.

Green tea creme brulee $4.80

It arrives within moments, a ramekin of green-tea flavoured custard topped with a thin crackle of toffee, a fanned strawberry and a splodge of aerosol cream. It's a perfect end to the meal.

I'm not waiting another 700 Sundays until my next one.


Musashi Dining Bar
447 Pitt Street, Sydney
(corner of Campbell Street, next to the Capitol Theatre)
Tel: +61 (02) 9280 0377

Lunch: Monday to Friday 11.45am-2.30pm
Dinner: Monday to Sunday 5.30pm-10.00pm

Musashi is part of the Masuya group that includes:
Makoto City Sushi Bar
119 Liverpool Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9283 6767

Makoto Chatswood Sushi Bar
336 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9411 1838

Masuya Seafood Japanese Restaurant
12-14 O'Connell Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9235 2717 or +61 (02) 9231 0038

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Musashi, October 2005
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 3/04/2007 11:00:00 pm


  • At 3/05/2007 9:32 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    You know all these years i walk past this place meaning to go but end up going somewhere else. The lines have always been massive and I'm usually too hungry to wait. The picture of the creme brulee sold me!

  • At 3/05/2007 9:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i never got to try their green tea creme brulee it is always sold out :(

    their lamb shanks are SOoOOo GOOD. i forgot the name but can remember the taste hehe.

  • At 3/06/2007 4:03 am, Blogger Yvo Sin said…

    *drool* oh yum, yum.

  • At 3/06/2007 7:29 pm, Blogger Truffle said…

    oooh it all looks so tempting!

  • At 3/06/2007 10:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been to Masuya's many times. A little pricey but a good consistent standard.

    I've been once to Musashi. A good quality meal with quick service. Will definitely try the creme brulee.

    Theres also a relatively new Japanese restaurant around the corner from Musashi. Under Silver Spring Restaurant where the Haymarket post office is.

    Its taken over the shop from a long standing Italian cafe whose name eludes me.

    Its quite eye catching as the chefs work in front of a tropical fish tank that runs the length of the restaurant.

  • At 3/07/2007 10:10 am, Blogger flexnib said…

    Is that real wagyu?

  • At 3/08/2007 9:38 pm, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    never had the chance to try this place because of the huge queues and wait...

    masuya is actually quite good value... for nice setting and location, and the food never disappoints...

    been to the Umi Kaiten Zushi place twice... its ok, nothing special... its good that a group of six can sit at a table, and have the sushi train experience... i'd love to have those concrete benchtops at home...

  • At 6/25/2007 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were tourists in Sydney last month and had to seek this place out after seeing your post. It was well worth the effort! Our fish was fresh, tasty and (at least to us) very well priced. We shared a sushi platter for two and the wagyu beef (sorry, don't remember if it was yakiniku or not). YAY! Was very, very pleased with our meal - thanks for the tip!
    -Tourist from San Francisco, California


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