After a few pricier endeavors after softball for the past few weeks, it was about time we settled on something a little more reasonable. Considering we were playing at Shannon Field in South Granville, the first thought was Asian food in Richmond. The decision was all-but-made when the clock struck 9:00pm. You see, Matsuyama has a late night menu that starts at that time. Normally, there would be some rumblings for AYCE late night sushi; but not this time (thankfully). At first, not many people knew what I was talking about. Matsu-what? Where is this place? I tried explaining that it is in the same plaza as Pho Hoa. Then I used Michigan Noodle Shop as a point of reference since we had just visited it the week prior. Finally, I used the cross street to provide the directions. That didn't seem to help because no one knew where Alexandra Gate was. Yes, everyone knew about Alexandra Road; but it seems like no one is ever sure of that little street intersecting Alexandra Road on the East end. Whatever, people seemed to get there fine, even Miss Y.
Is it just me or is there only enough parking spots for one restaurant in an entire plaza? I mean, for each of the plazas on Alexandra, there are at least 5 business present. Where do they think we can park our cars??? Seriously... Did they intentionally want to create parking conflict? I mean, it's already bad enough that road manners in Richmond are marginal at best. Honestly, in the President's Plaza parking lot, I've seen 2 people fight for a spot while I went for Dim Sum. They were still out there after I finished! Well, fortunately for me tonight, I got a space easily.
From the late night menu, I decided on the 5 piece Salmon & Toro Sashimi, as well as 5 individual pieces of Nigiri for 89 cents each (crab salad, spicy scallop & tobiko, inari, spicy salmon & spicy tako). I found the sashimi acceptable, especially for the price ($4.25). One bite into the nigiri and immediately I noticed something different about the sushi rice. It actually had flavour! It's amazing how many places do not flavour their rice properly. With that being said, although the rice had a nice chewy consistency while being flavoured, it was probably a bit too vinegary. Once again, the nigiri were decent, if not pretty standard. For good measure, I also got the Unagi Don. The reason I picked it was that both the Oyako Don and Beef Teri-don were taken. Yes, I try not to order duplicates! I have to say the unagi don was a fabulous deal at $7.95 It was a very big piece of unagi, which had just enough sauce for itself and the rice. The rice was pretty good too with a nice "bite". I also noticed that Judes ordered a Wakame Salad and boy was it gigantic! The portion was easily 3 times the amount I normally see. Upon seeing that, I immediately ordered one for myself. For the price, I would be happy with just the portion size; but fortunately it was good as well. The chewy, crunchy texture was present and there was no lack of flavour either. Judes thought that it may have been too vinegary. I thought so too; but I like vinegar, so it was really not an issue for me. She also had a Dynamite Roll and a Scallop Tobiko Roll. The scallop roll was a bit bland and probably needed more mayo. The dynamite roll was pretty standard. She thought that the rice was a bit too vinegary as well.
Miss Y went for Oyako Don. Yes, she did not order something strange like a burger or something. That's because she couldn't. It was a great size for the price. Just a tad bit on the bland side. She's had Oyako Don that has way too much sauce in the past. They could've perhaps used just a touch more sauce and eggs/onion/potato noodle for flavour. Boss woman also had this and basically felt the same. She thought that the sauce was rather tasteless. Miss Y also added an order of the Oyster Motoyaki. Baked and served in a small ceramic dish, it was a decent size. There was an overwhelming amount of mayo sauce due to the serving vessel. Other than that, she thought it was tasty.
Milhouse ended up ordering a whole lot more food than he could handle. He is afflicted with what is known as "eyes were bigger than his stomach" syndrome. He started with the Beef Teri-Don and much like the other don, it was a good size for the money. Lots of beef, cooked correctly and tastes right. He remarked that it is difficult to mess this up. However, I beg to differ, I've had some pretty horrid teriyaki before and I must give them kudos here for at least making a decent version. Continuing on the food odyssey aka Milhouses' stomach, he also had the Tuna Sashimi, BC Roll and Unagi Roll. Sure, I ate almost as much as he did; but my gut is way smaller. LOL... Anyways, with his rolls, it was much of the same where the rice was quite vinegary. In another example of personal preference, he liked the strong vinegar taste, just like me. He also thought the tuna was decent, neither being too mushy or too cold (like frozen from the freezer). Nothing spectacular; but solid nonetheless, especially for the price. And that much sums up Matsuyama. Nothing particularly memorable or offensive. Middle-of-the-road Japanese food on the cheap. Good for times of hunger where you don't need to spend a lot.
- Decent food
- Good portions
- Food is decent; but won't set the world on fire
- Service is sparse
- Parking lot sucks