Along with a visit to the Macao Trading Co., Joel and I made our way to Matsugen — a Soba Noodle House. To start, the design was modern Japanese with a very large sushi bar front and center. We were seated at a simplistic table and we got to choosing our food right away.
Both Joel and I chose the Winter Prix Fixe menu. At a total of $35, it was the best way to try out the best of what the restaurant had to offer. First came a dish of huge Wasabi Nuts, a Soft Tofu Miso Soup as well as Kampachi Sashimi with Spicy Ponzu. I was very pleased with all portions of the first course: the nuts were large and just spicy enough. The tofu soup was so delicate and silky with a slight salty kick. The Kampachi was flavorful with hints of spice and salt.
For the second course, we were served Kampachi sushi as well as Matsugen’s take on Spicy Tuna — a favorite roll of ours, we actually asked for another separate order on the side. Along with the sushi rolls, we were served some of the most amazing crispy shrimp. The shrimp was cooked to perfection; both the inside and outside retained an flawless crunch. Topped with a hint of freshly squeezed lemon, this was one of our favorites of the night.
One touch I have to mention is the use of freshly grated wasabi to accompany all the fish dishes. I find the flavor of freshly grated wasabi to be incredibly fresh and a sweet spicy — not overwhelming. Most sushi restaurants in the city choose to use prepared so when I find a restaurant that uses fresh, I’m immediately impressed.
Finally, for our last course (aside from desert) we had what the restaurant is known for: their house-made Soba noodles. We had a choice of two kinds, I went with the Seiro Soba Noodle with Hot Duck Broth and Joel went with the Hot Mushroom Soba. Both dishes were wonderfully packed with flavor and the Soba noodles rivaled Japan’s.
A great Far East night out in TriBeCa was finished with Matsugen’s Vanilla Caramel Pudding. Joel and I devoured each of our puddings — if he wasn’t looking, I would have taken his!