Matsumi is my all time favourite Japanese restaurant and whenever I am in Hamburg, I try to visit at least once. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the restaurant remained closed for many weeks and so I was especially happy to be able to have lunch there during my last trip to Hamburg. I was glad to see the restaurant back open in a period that might be crucial to the survival of gastronomy as we know it.
Lunch Experience at Matsumi
As always, the experience at Matsumi was second to none. Even though I haven’t been there for a long time, my girlfriend and I were welcomed with the same friendly and open atmosphere that I came to love. Immediately, we felt at home and enjoyed a short but nice lunch at the sushi bar. Even though the seating limitations due to COVID-19 resulted in fewer seats being available, we were lucky enough to have a nice view over the counter.
Even though during lunch the menu at the sushi bar is limited and not as extensive as during dinner hours, I was able to pick some of my favourite items. The sake cave te maki (grilled salmon skin hand roll) is one of my absolute favourites and it was as amazing as always. Even after trying similar dishes at many restaurants around the globe, I am confident that this is by far best one. In between the hand roll on and the lunch sushi set that I ordered, we also had a kappa (cucumber) maki (roll).
The lunch plate came with sake (salmon), amaebi (sweet shrimp), tako (octopus), hamachi (yellowtail) and aji (mackerel) sashimi. I always enjoy the mackerel and also the octopus was outstanding. There were also some nigiri pieces with suzuki (sea bass), sake (salmon), unagi (freshwater eel) and ebi (shrimp) of which I liked the eel the most. Unagi is also among my favourites and so I was happy that it was available during lunch hours. Also, there were some sake (salmon) maki (rolls) that were nice as well. Behind some decorative greens, there were also 2 pieces of otoro (blueing fatty tuna belly) sashimi, which were an absolute delight to round of the meal. To say it as it was, it was amazing to be back.
Sushi Guide Verdict
Matsumi is truly a one of its kind restaurant and certainly my all time favourite Japanese restaurant. For more than 10 years I have frequented the restaurant regularly and I cannot get enough of it. The unique and authentic atmosphere and wooded interior and tatami room provide an entry way into another world, even if just for a little while. The menu is extensive and covers all varieties of fish one could dream of with highest quality. Everything is prepared with the utmost attention to detail, truly making dining here an amazing experience. The drink menu is extensive and features Japanese beers, wines and spirits and leaves no desire unanswered. The service is friendly, forthcoming and welcoming and makes the experience what it is for me, a homecoming. I can only recommend Matsumi from the bottom of my heart and am happy to see them open again.
Review date: May 29, 2020