These are the two value-for-money Japanese set lunches that give you chirashi for below $20. Wasabi Tei's is $20 without GST/extras, while Matsuo's is $15, which comes out to about $17 all-inclusive. So how did they fare?
[I love to do comparative postings - it gives people the ability to make choices and comparisons between places, and it also includes reviews - so its's the best of both worlds.]
Anyway, I would really love comments. I'm not sure how many people read this blog anyway - probably only my friends - or those really bored - but please leave comments! and advertise! I eat alot. and travel to find food alot. So you can ensure that there are good reviews. And I guess I'm quite objective too, hopefully.
Anyway, Wasabi Tei is a small quaint 12-seater eatery on the 4th floor of Far East Plaza, and apparently there's always a long queue for lunch, and you must order all your food at one go - if you order second helpings after the first order it's an additioanl 20% charge. Well, I guess they must enforc ethis because there's really no seating space.
And moreover the chef is a really grumpy old man with a beard and looks like he came out of a kungfu movie. Haha. Well i guess it seems like he probably did, coz he didnt say a single word all the time we were there.
Anyway, I ordered a chirashi don which costs $20, and it was really super generous. It came with three fat slices of tuna, three fat slices of salmon, three fat slices of swordfish, salmon roe, 2 hotate (scallops, fat they were), on rice, with miso and the usual fruit, plus an amuse bouche of sorts. See the photo.
Well what I cannot fault was the generosity of the food - the fish slices were really fat, so it was really value for money. However, while the tuna was alright, and the swordfish great, I felt the salmon extermely bland; there wasn't that sashimi delicate lovely aftertaste that you get from eating nice salmon sashimi, more like something you will get if you just order salmon from the fishmonger. Means while there is the overall salmony fish taste, it did not have that delicate aftertaste one associates with salmon. The swordfish, however , was immaculate, very tasty, fresh, crunchy; very enjoyable. Full of flavour. The salmon roe was so-so. What was good, however, was really the amuse bouche of clams and jellyfish which really whet the appetite.
Chirashi don: (7/10)
Matsuo, on the other hand, is in Goldhill Plaza, near United Square; They serve chirashi don sets with chawan mushi every monday and friday for just $15. And it's a steal. It comes packed with goodies like fresh shrimp, the usual salmon, tuna, tamago, even eel, and some hamachi. While the fish was not as generous as Wasabi Tei, I felt the fish was more flavourful and fresher at Matsuo. Smaller pieces, but better tasting. The salmon actually tasted like salmon. heck, even sushi-tei salmon tasted better than Wasabi Tei. Hmm. Wonder what all this is about. Maybe it was a bad day. anyway what was nice was the chawan mushi because it had alot of wonderful ingredients inside, such as shrimp, mushrooms, etc. There was even a shrimp in the miso soup, haha.
Chirashi don (8/10)
The chawanmushi (8.5/10)