WITH an abundance of Japanese restaurants taking root in Penang in recent years, sometimes the hard part is choosing which one to go to.
Those placing an emphasis on food quality and reasonable prices will find the Matsuki Japanese Restaurant in Pulau Tikus to be one that ticks all the boxes with its homely flavours, value-for-money offerings and warm service.
Located on Jalan Pemenang off Gurney Drive, the family-run establishment has garnered a huge following of locals and expatriates since it first opened some 15 years ago.
Diners can find almost anything associated with Japanese cuisine here, ranging from sashimi and sushi to bento sets and tempura. With over 200 items in its repertoire, all beautifully illustrated in its menu, there’s bound to be something that catches the eye and pleases the palate.
The restaurant’s set meal approach has been one of its major plus points. Most of its offerings come with accompaniments that include miso soup, chawan mushi (steamed egg custard), pickles and fruits.
Together with white rice, the hearty portions make for satisfying meals that are also light on the wallet, and definitely worthwhile.
It gets even better, as lunch sets, with prices starting from just RM12, also come with a complimentary scoop of Haagen-Dazs or Baskin Robbins ice cream.
The Chicken Teriyaki and Special Lunch Bento are rather popular with the midday crowd, while the Seafood Set and Sanma Kabayaki Yasai Itame Set (grilled mackerel) are good for any time of day.
Otherwise, go for the Shake Steak Nasu Set (salmon and brinjal) whose sweet, soy-based glaze is delightful. For snacking, you can’t go wrong with the crispy Ebi Tempura.
Those seeking a warm bowl of stew can opt for the Sukiyaki Set instead. It comes with a raw egg, which can either be used for dipping, or stirred into the soup while still hot. The Sukiyaki is available with either beef or chicken.
All these can be comfortably enjoyed in Matsuki’s main dining hall, where its wooden furnishings exude the quaint charm of a Japanese abode, or in one of the four private rooms upstairs (three of them tatami-style) which are only available for groups of 10 or more.
Those unable to make the trip can also have Matsuki’s delicious fare delivered to the doorstep. This is only available to addresses in the town area with a minimum purchase of two sets. It’s advisable to place orders at least half an hour in advance.
Matsuki is open daily from noon-2.30pm and 6pm-10.30pm. For reservations, call 04-2295504.