Makoto, and indeed, most of the Masuya group restaurants (including Makoto, Masuya and Musashi) are our absolute favourite Japanese restaurants. Granted, we don’t tend to go looking around for much (needs to change!), but since Makoto and Miso are just downstairs from home, it’s always so much easier to go there, and be guaranteed of a good meal.

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Salmon and Kingfish Sashimi 

The sashimi here is usually fantastic – fresh and firm. It wasn’t an exception today, except note to self: eat before udon, not after, the temperature of your mouth makes a difference. Would have loved more kingfish, but this is the usual portion size. It looks a bit like a fish in this picture

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Tempura Udon

The udon here is served in a clay pot, and typically comes out bubbling, which is always awesome. I love the udon at Makoto because it features an egg dropped in the soup to be barely cooked – the whites are still custardy and silky soft, while the combination of yolk and broth are such a more-ish and comforting flavour. I wasn’t very impressed by the tempura though – the pumpkin was passable, but by the time I got around to the two prawn tempura, they had swollen with soup and soggy. I tend to prefer my tempura on the side, served separately for that reason. The prawns tasted as though they had come into contact with ginger (not a bad thing, just unusual) and were also a little rubbery, probably due also to being in the hot soup for a while.

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Chicken Teriyaki Udon

Tim wasn’t too impressed with the chicken, though I thought it was okay. The good things about Makoto’s udons are the slippery soft noodles, and flavoursome broth. And the colourful pink fishcakes (naruto?) are so cute and yummy – I stole one of Tim’s and made it mine and life was all good…

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Spider Roll

When I think Makoto, I think Spider Roll and Sushi Rice. I first was introduced to the wonder that is soft-shell crab here, and was quickly addicted. The inside out roll has soft-shell crab, cucumber, red capsicum, lettuce and some sort of tofu/egg/fish…thing (it used to be crabstick, I have no idea what it is now), wrapped tenderly in nori and rice (and I’d kill for Makoto’s sushi rice – perfectly cooked and flavoured), and rolled generously in black roe. A squeeze of mayonnaise and spoonful of salmon roe (also addicted to this stuff) finishes this off – making a dish slightly too big for my mouth, but never turned down, no matter how full my stomach is. In fact, when the discounted special plates came around in the afternoon, we polished another plate off!

Other dishes we love at Makoto:

Soft-Shell Crab Karaage
Ebi-Prawn Sushi (battered prawn served nigiri-style) – absolutely a must if you come in early, when it’s still fresh and crispy
Any of the nigiri (salmon and kingfish are our staples, others include bonito, yellow-fin tuna, octopus, scampi, prawn, calamari…)
Cheese Roll – one of Tim’s favourites, I believe it has smoked salmon in it?
Tamago-yaki sushi – they say that the true test of a sushi chef is in their tamago-yaki – the rolled sweetened egg omelette must be perfectly balanced, not too sweet, and in my opinion, these guys do it well. Also helps if you’re an impoverished uni student (can you say salmon nigiri, inari-zushi & tamago-sushi cheap plates, plus takeaway discount? xD)
Ikura or Lobster Conveyor – A small ball of sushi rice, wrapped in a generous slice of salmon sashimi and topped with either copious amounts of salmon roe, or flavoursome lobster salad.

Makoto is located at the corner of Liverpool St and Pitt St next to World Square. Discounts for takeaway are available, as well as special plate offers if you come at the right times. Plan ahead and leave time to wait, or go early – there’s always a queue of eager patrons.

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