Matsukiya: The ultimate kushiyaki experience?

By HungryGoWhere July 11, 2021
Matsukiya: The ultimate kushiyaki experience?
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It really is a case of unfortunate timing.

A concept by the folks behind Sushi Tei, kushiyaki restaurant Matsukiya quietly opened late last year at Paragon shopping centre but when they wanted to officially launch the restaurant in early 2020, Singapore’s circuit breaker measures were imposed.

So the poor restaurant’s been flying under the radar and chasing customers all this time.

A real shame because the eatery is attempting to offer authentic premium kushiyaki (grilled skewers) in Singapore to people who are willing to pay a little extra for it.

Firstly all the ingredients at Matsukiya are grilled over bincho-tan (white charcoal made with Japanese oak) — considered the best charcoal by Japanese grill masters for grilling food.

All the best kushiyaki restaurants, including the ones in Singapore, use it because it burns cleanly with a high steady heat.

It neutralises protein acids and the far-infrared radiation quickly seals the natural flavours of the food.

Secondly, all the meats, seafood and other produce are imported from Japan.

The only exception is the chicken, of a French breed, which is raised in Johor Bahru.

They are allowed to roam freely and live up to 90 days as opposed to 30-40 days in other farms and are fed a 100% natural and vegetarian diet, which is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

The result is a chicken flavour that is a little more distinct and robust when it comes to the grilled chicken items like the thigh, wings, skin, gizzard or heart.

The restaurant has introduced two new executive set lunches to entice diners who may be interested in what authentic premium kushiyaki is all about.
The first is a S$25++ set where you choose three kushiyaki from a premium selection of chicken thigh, gizzard, heart, asparagus, shiitake mushroom and more.

It comes with Aka Misoshiru on the side, a prawn broth enhanced using aka miso, shimeiji and chives and Gobou Gohan (burdock root rice) made using dashi and served with pickles. Seasonal ice cream caps off the set.

The other set ($30++) is a choice of unagi served with shiyo and taro; or tontoro with pork cheek. 

The pork cheek originates from Spain and is chosen for its good ratio of marbling and meat. The fat lends a complex depth of flavour, and it melts and permeates the meat upon grilling.

Accompanying it is edamame, chawanmushi with Kagoshima pork and truffle oil, gobou gohan and seasonal ice cream.

But arguably just as interesting are some of their side dishes. The chef’s special Ika ($18) is a whole squid, perfected grilled to a soft texture and with smoky flavours and served with mashed potato darkened with squid ink.

Another side dish — the Yuzukosho Tori Ramen ($18) — would make for a great lunch special in itself.

Dry ramen noodles dressed with spicy yuzu paste and cooked using a broth made with homemade spicy tontoro sauce. A perfectly grilled chicken on top  and lovely fried crunchy chicken skin bits on top. Heavenly.



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