Matsumi is a very unique Japanese restaurant in Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 1982 it was targeted at the Japanese community in Hamburg and has since evolved into a highly praised and internationally awarded restaurant catering to guests from all around the world. Hideaki Morita (the executive sushi chef) and Petra Garling took over the restaurant in 1998 and focus on original Japanese style cuisine in an ambient atmosphere that is unlike any other place in Germany or even Europe.
The restaurant’s sushi bar is famous for its incredible selection of fresh sushi and sashimi dishes that amount to almost 50 varieties. Most of the fish is sourced fresh at the local Fish Market in Hamburg while some delicacies such as tuna and yellowtail are flown in regularly to meet the quality standards of the restaurant. The sushi chefs take pride in their focus on tradition and quality, emphasising that every piece of sushi or sashimi is cut from a whole fish and only traditional means are used to prepare the food.
The atmosphere at the restaurant is also very unique and focusses on custom made timber, paper covered windows and room dividers. The restaurants offers a small number of seats at the sushi bar, around 15 tables for small groups and a traditional Japanese Tatami room for large groups which is only available by reservation. In this special room people sit on the floor to dine and are served in the most traditional Japanese fashion. All in all the restaurant feels very authentic and even more unique due to all the love and compassion that went into the little details of its interior, making Matsumi a one of its kind restaurant.
Omakase Sashimi Dinner
There is no sushi restaurant I like more and certainly none I have visited more often than Matsumi. I am always amazed by the quality and taste of everything I have ever tried and I really appreciate all the effort that is put into the dish preparation and decoration. As in most cases, this time I went there with a friend and we had a huge omakase style sashimi plate.
The plate came with kanpachi (amber jack), o toro (bluefin fatty tuna belly), maguro (bluefin tuna back), sake (salmon), hamachi (yellowtail), ika (skuid), chu toro (bluefin medium fatty tuna belly), tako (octopus), aji (mackerel), akamutsu (seapearch), ama ebi (sweet shrimp), hotategai (scallop), mirugai (long neck clam) and akagai (red clam). To say the least, this was amazing. Not only had the plate everything one could dream of, the taste of freshness was mind blowing.
Some of my favorites were the ika (squid) and the aji (mackerel) which is different from any mackerel I ever had at any other sushi restaurant. Of course the bluefin tuna selection is always an absolute delight and it goes without saying, that the taste and texture was outstanding to say the least.
To make this even better, I point put the little side dishes on the sashimi plate. My two favourites were also served as seared ika (squid) and aji (mackerel) tar tar. The ika was very spicy and was seared in some kind of wasabi sauce as far as I could decipher. The aji was served with herbs and sesame, making it a very special dish as well. Lastly we had some sake cava te maki (grilled salmon skin hand roll), which are among my favourite dishes at this restaurant as well. For the sauce in this hand roll alone, I would come back any day of the week. All in all it was a great, no, fabulous dinner.
Sushi Guide Verdict
As always, a meal at Matsumi is not only outstanding in quality and taste, it is unique no matter how often you go there. The attention to detail and freshness is unparalleled and the frequently changing specialties menu at the sushi bar gives the experience a special twist every time. The atmosphere is warm, friendly, authentic and I always feel welcome and almost at home when I am visiting the restaurant. The variety of sushi and sashimi dishes is huge and offers specialties rare to find anywhere else. In addition the menu offers many other options from salads to traditional Japanese choices as well as vegetarian and even vegan dishes. The wine and sake list is outstanding, catering to all tastes and preferences. Lastly, the service is outstanding. Everybody is super friendly, warm, welcoming and internationally oriented as the staff speaks German, English and Japanese (a requisite for anyone working there) among others.
The be as clear as I can be, this is truly a one if its kind restaurant and I recommend it without any hesitation to both sushi new comers as well as well versed sushi aficionados from around the world. I have been at Matsumi more often than in any other sushi restaurant and there are various reviews of all the special experiences I had.
Review date: October 20, 2015