Sunday, June 26, 2016

Musashino - Restaurant Review

Musashino is my favorite traditional sushi restaurant in Austin! The ingredients are very fresh, and because of that I've always enjoyed the food here. They've just made the move from Greystone at Mopac to San Gabriel and Lamar. I was anxious to try out the new location as the old one was charming but a bit awkward, and could get very smoky because of the small size of the restaurant and the proximity of the kitchen to the dining area.

We headed to the restaurant's new location with MT and TT. The space used to be occupied by Fino, and while the floor plan is basically the same, Musashino has made it their own. They've extended the entryway into the patio area facing west, and the new decor is contemporary Asian.

Our server was young and seemed inexperienced and scattered. She might have also had too many tables to handle on her own as she forgot one of our appetizers and never refilled our water. We were underwhelmed with her service.

We started with drinks. MT and I ordered a bottle of the Prosecco (around $35 a bottle). TT and hubby ordered a bottle of sake (around $33 a bottle) followed later by some beer. The Prosecco was perfect for sushi - light, dry, and bubbly!

For our appetizers, we ordered the Bakudan Mussels (Mussels Dynamite - mussels on the half shell baked spicy mayo and topped with bonito flakes - $13.50). While they were substantial and somewhat tasty, I would have preferred for them not to be drowning in mayo.

We also ordered the Avocado Kama (half an avocado stuffed with shrimp, crab, and the restaurant's special spicy sauce - $8). These are served in a little basket and are good (beautiful presentation, not like the photo above), but again, there's still too much mayonnaise for my taste. It made me think of that ABC Saturday Morning Cartoon PSA spot called "Don't Drown Your Food."

One of our first rolls was the Texas Road Kill (tuna with avocado and cucumber, wrapped with habanero, jalapeño, and smelt caviar with a side of the restaurant’s special spicy mayo - around $17). It was beautiful and scrumptious! You can order it with either salmon or tuna, but since we ordered a different salmon roll, we chose tuna for this one.

We also had the Evil Knevil Roll (fresh salmon, avocado, cucumber, and ooba leaf with smelt roe and sesame seeds on the outside, sprinkled with lemon zest on top - around $17) and the California Roll (avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds, smelt caviar, flying fish caviar, and real snow crab - $19). Both were fresh and tasty! While I don't usually prefer California Rolls, my hubby always has to order them, and the only way to eat them is with real crab and not the imitation crab made out of fish cake (kamaboko).

This Spicy Spider Roll (deep fried soft shell crab claws and smelt caviar roll, wrapped with avocado on the outside served with their special spicy mayo) was really great - just the right amount of crispy in the middle with cool, creamy avocado to balance the deep fried crab.

We also ordered a plate of Nigiri - 2 Sake (Salmon), 2 Tuna, 2 Hamachi (Yellow Tail), and 2 Anago (Sea Eel). They were about $3.50 per piece, fresh, and delicious.

Our bill was about $220 before tip. Even though our service could have been better, the food at Musashino never disappoints!

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