It might not actually be located down a labyrinthine Tokyo alleyway (it is in fact on the corner of Dixon and Liverpool Street in Haymarket), but Masu Izakaya is about as authentic a Japanese izakaya restaurant as you can find in Sydney. The vibe is relaxed and informal, as you’d expect from a place where you can imbibe a two-litre bottle of Asahi or at least ten kinds of Japanese whisky… then there’s the food, with menus sporting yakitori skewers that make the most of our feathered friend the chicken, all cooked before your very eyes on authentic Japanese charcoal grills. There’s even more to explore if you book in for lunch or dinner – and book you should because Masu Izakaya’s making a lot of noise when it comes to Japanese restaurants in Sydney.
Where to begin? Masu Izakaya’s menus are bewilderingly comprehensive. The proprietors have laid things out clearly and creatively, but once you move past the diagram of a chicken being dissected into traditional yakitori skewers like seseri (necks), bonjiri (tails), nankotsu (cartilage), and hatsu (hearts), you’re entering formidable gourmet Japanese culinary territory. Take a nip of the premium Hibiki 21 years-old Japanese whisky and sally forth, we say. Lunch and dinner covers all the traditional bases of sushi and sashimi, noodles, donburi and curries, and then some, but if you’re lunching, might we suggest the Masu set lunches for first timers? Take an unagi, chicken tama, teriyaki or chirashi don set and settle into a stellar Japanese dining experience in Sydney’s Haymarket.
If you’ve managed to book a table for dinner at Masu Izakaya’s busy restaurant down Liverpool Street (congratulations), our picks from the evening menu are the tako and sunomono, vinegary octopus with cucumber salad to start. Small plates designed to share around the table are yet another way you can crack into this Japanese restaurant’s outstanding selection. Match classic pan-fried gyoza with okra tempura and a more outre dish like the eihire (dried sting ray fin) and, unless you’ve had your fill at the yakitori counter, the chef recommends the hot plate of assorted chicken innards with garlic. What have you got to lose except room for more? Reserve some space for the dinner selection of nigiri sushi, big Dragon rolls of lightly seared eel, or the chef’s recommended grilled dishes of salmon belly with ponzu or the gyutan (beef tongue). Got a party of four and hungry for more? Masu’s big plates of fried rice or yakisoba noodles are sure to satisfy. A top spot in Sydney’s Haymarket for aficionados of Japanese cuisine, you’ll need an advance booking.
This place was great. The seafood was really fresh. The miso soup was the best I have and all dishes had great favours. Really good value for $$
Nice little Izakaya with great food and especially the sake recommended by one of the friendly staff, Keita. Great service and will definitely come back again.
Food is really good and the staff are quite knowledgeable of the product. Although it was full the environment is clean and tidy. My friends and I had a really good time.