I've been hooked on Matsuo ever since Jeanne brought me there two years ago. It's a little Japanese joint that gets filled up very quickly, and the service staff can be rude and sometimes uppity. On some days, they won't let you in unless your whole party is there. And they won't let you have THE special table by the window even if the whole restaurant is full, and your party will fit in nicely there. It's for regulars only.
However, the place is so well loved by the Japanese salary men and well-coiffed Japanese housewives that you know it is the REAL deal. It's also run by a Japanese chef who speaks English, Chinese, and Hokkien.
I've NEVER been disappointed whenever I order the sashimi set at Matsuo. The chef always gives me toro (fatty tuna belly, albeit the more LC or low-class type), scallops, sweet prawns (they're expensive), and plenty of salmon roe. And his sashimi are always very fresh. All for just S$20 (before taxes and service charge)! It is a very, very good deal indeed.
Yet I've never blogged about them; I've could never really decide if they deserve the mention. Perhaps because the service staff can be snooty unless you're a regular, and Terence is convinced that I only get the good stuff because the chef likes me. Plus, they were nasty to our friends, the Chows.
But seriously, I've always had damn good sashimi there. For instance, Terence joined me for lunch on Friday, and we had hirame (flat fish) and fugu (seasonal) in our set. Nonetheless, you can't ignore the fact that the male diner next to us had only one sweet prawn, salmon, tuna, mekajiki, and temago. I could argue that he ordered the chirashi set, but truth be told: I always had scallops and toro even with my chirashi sets.
In the chef's defense, however, he didn't stinge on the amount of fish for the diner next to us, and the freshness of the fish is beyond description.
Anyhow, what tipped me over to blog about Matsuo finally was because... he gave us fugu!!!
Here's their address: Goldhill Plaza, #01-17. It'd be nice to hear what you think of them.