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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Matsu Restaurant
Maggie T FoodFriends Penang

Matsu, a new Japanese inspired restaurant open recently in the newly refurnished Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Ferringhi. Matsu (Japanese for Pine) is located over Lone Pine's trendy new Batubar at the front of the hotel.

Floor to ceiling glass walls on two sides, combined with decorative wall panelling with pine wood finishing on another wall. The bar and show kitchen are visible over the counter top. Al fresco dinning can be enjoyed on the balcony over looking the gardens and pine trees with audio of waves lapping the beach. With seating of three intimate tables and one larger table for up to eight guests the balcony area can accommodate up to 20 diners.

The inside uses pale wood décor and furniture over a dark tiles floor giving a very pleasant cool ambiance.

The new menu has just been finalised and is quite extensive and very Japanese in style. The variety extends from Raw Octopus marinated with Wasabi sauce at RM8 to Grilled Wagu Beef on Hot stones for RM110. Not being an expert on Japanese cuisine I cannot say whether the offerings are authentic or not. But with 15 pages of the main menu and the addition of a "today's specials" we had no problem making our own selection.

Seafood, as you would expect, dominates the menus, but with lots of variety both in the basic fruit of the sea and the methods of preparation, there is surely something to please everyone. There are meat dishes too of course, including Wagu beef, and chicken for those who don't have sea legs!

I selected three items, Matsu Style Chicken Teriyaki and Shiromaguro from the main menu and Jumbo Prawns deep-fried with breadcrumbs from today's specials. Both were interesting, delicious and the portions were generous. One small criticism, one of the three large prawns was somewhat over cooked, but the others were perfect. The total cost for three items was RM60.

Eugene ordered Kihata Maguro at RM38 from main menu. A very generous portion of deep red tuna sashimi arrived and we both enjoyed it a lot. His second dish was Grilled Blue Fin Tuna Steak with Wafu Wasabi sauce from the today's special at RM78. Another winning dish. All the dishes were beautifully presented and just like Japanese women, elegant and understated. We had one portion of wasabi fried rice and one of garlic fried rice. Both of these were served in hot stone bowls which kept the rice piping hot throughout the meal.
We finished by sharing Toasted Pine nut ice cream (RM16), which was simply delicious, though the portion was on the small side.
The service was very warm, efficient and friendly and we will definitely be frequent diners at Matsu, with the added bonus that most offerings are healthier foods.

Matsu has a wide menu selection, all price ranges are provided for, and based on our selection the quality of the food is high. Matsu offers an easy introduction to the flavours and style of Japanese cuisine for those of us new to it, and there should be lots to please the connoisseur also.

Matsu Restaurant
Lone Pine Hotel, 97, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Tel: +604 881 1511

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