Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sampling Masu Sushi & Robata


Last week, my husband and I grabbed a meal at Masu Sushi & Robata, a new sushi and robata restaurant in NE Minneapolis. I was particularly interested because James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee was involved in producing the menu, and because they’ve made a commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood.

They were busy on that Wednesday night, so we set up a reservation for 9:30 p.m. and took some time to decompress at our NE home before we headed out. Upon arriving, we were seated in a cozy booth under a painted pair of watchful eyes that spanned the full length of the back wall. The menu consisted of sake and other drinks, pub-style appetizers (izakaya), sushi, grilled items (robata), and noodles.

We split a glass of sweet sparkling rhubarb green tea from their non-alcoholic drink menu. Then we ordered the “Warrior” sake flight consisting of Minato Harbor Yamahai Nama Genshu, Yuki No Bosha Junmai Ginjo, and Eiko Fuji Ban Ryu. The $14.50 Warrior flight is an economical way to sample the Eiko Fuji Ban Ryu since it runs $89 by the bottle.


The ginger duck dumplings (gyoza) were an appetizing combination of rich duck meat and pungent ginger. The crispy bottoms of the dumplings balanced the unctuous texture of the duck. As we gobbled them up, my husband noted that he “could eat about nine more orders of those.”

Up next was a round of oyster shooters—a quail egg, an oyster, some flying fish roe (tobiko) and green shiso submerged in a 2 oz. shot of sake. It was high-five worthy. The combination of the sweetness from the sake, the saltiness of the oyster, and the richness of the quail egg made for a memorable and tasty shooter.

The sustainable seafood options are plentiful on the sushi menu. Unfortunately, they had run out of abalone (awabi) and sea urchin (uni), so I opted for a bowl of the littleneck clam ramen with garlic, seaweed (wakame), and fish cake. The ramen wasn’t the slimy noodles from a cup that I experienced in college. The noodles were just past al dente, and as I plucked the clam meat from the tiny shells floating among the noodles, I slurped the broth and contemplated ordering another oyster shooter.

Masu also is serving up a selection of items prepared on a charcoal grill (robata), from Japanese mushrooms to glazed pork ribs. Speaking of the pork ribs, while they’ve made a commitment to sustainable seafood, they haven’t applied that same commitment to their other meats on the menu, according to our server.

The atmosphere is playful and upbeat, complete with a half dozen pachinko machines and Munny dolls. Robata, oyster shooters, and Pachinko? That’s a happy hour recipe worth repeating.

Masu Sushi & Robata
330 E Hennepin Ave., Mpls.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Fresh, homemade bread is faster and easier than you think with dough that mixes in five minutes and needs no time to rise

Hello Pizza Turns 5, Ann Kim Short-listed for James Beard Award

Hello Pizza might have middle-child syndrome next to Ann Kim's other pizza shops—but this is what makes it worth revisiting

2018 James Beard Award Finalists

Minnesota chefs stay prominent in the James Beard shortlist

Brews for Good

Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘stache and shares on social media now through March 31, 2018

3 Reasons to Brunch This Weekend

Elegant N/A drinks, outstanding oeufs, and the best of ’80s hair rock this weekend

Blueberry-Walnut Squares Recipe

Enjoy a double-dose of antioxidants with walnuts and blueberries in this treat

Oscar Party Appetizers

Elevate your table with a trio of jazzed up party bites for a win in the best supporting snacks category

Exploring Washington Wines

Sample and discover delicious wines from our country’s second-largest wine-producing area at the Food & Wine Experience March 3 and 4

27 Best Twin Cities Restaurants For Wine

From big-name wine experts to surprising hidden gems, here's where you can always get a glass of great wine
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags