Gone are the days of the cheap all you can eat Chinese buffet. These days, restaurant patrons demand more than chicken balls sitting under a heating lamp and the puzzling inclusion of onion rings as a menu item. Over the past ten years, even sushi restaurants that offer the all you can eat option have had to up their game in order to compete, and restaurants that want to offer a fusion of Asian cuisines, have to bring their best.
Such is the case with Matsu Japanese + Thai, located on York Mills Road near Don Mills in a plaza that was once a warehouse in a former life. Traces of the warehouse are all but gone in this revamped and upscale “all you can taste” restaurant. Nestled between a pub, a bakery and a desert bar, Matsu tempts the pallet and the senses with a chic design and a quite elaborate menu.
The concept is Asian Tapas. Smaller plates and many choices make it ideal for sharing if you feel like it or sampling as much as want. Matsu features table service and a check list menu so there is no buffet table which is a very good thing. Offerings such as the perfectly cooked Thai Mussels start the meal off and go nicely with Salt and Pepper Calamari and Scallops
Expected favorites like Pad Thai come in perfectly sized portions.
While I’m not a huge fan of fried dumplings, the trio presented by Matsu did satisfy and were tender with just the right amount of crunch. The chicken skewers were also a well prepared and well seasoned.
An impressive selection of sushi and sashimi are also available. The rolls are made to order so be sure you order only what you can eat. Often times when a large order is placed, the serves will hold off on putting in all items just in case your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
On weekends, the menu expands to include more signature items such as the Matsu Roll, an incredible mix of just about everything from the sushi counter, as well as very pleasing Dim Sum menu.
The beef ribs, also on the expanded menu, were very tender, not chewy or fatty at all and had just the right seasoning so as not to overpower the meat itself.
Over all, the experience at Matsu makes for a nice night out and certainly a break from the boring and overdone all you can eat restaurants. Stylish decor, attentive service and most of all, good quality food are major selling points. The drawback is the limited parking lot.
Matsu Japanese + Thai
865 York Mills Road, Unit 9, Toronto
Sunday – Thursday 11am–10pm
Friday – Saturday 11am–11pm
Weekday Lunch $12.99
Weekday Dinner $20.99
Weekend Lunch $14.99
Weekend Dinner $25.99