Makoto Chatswood, 25 April 2009

Monsieur Poisson and I can often be found eating sushi, as Japanese food features high on Monsieur Poisson’s favourites list. Conveyor sushi is quick and efficient and is a cool dining option during warmer weather. Having said that, the weather is not much of a deciding factor for us – we just eat it because we like it!

Over the years the range of sushi I consume has dramatically widened. I still remember the first California rolls and cucumber hosomaki bought from Japanese department stores during my early teens. It was many years later before I tried anything with raw components. The same basic rules apply to sushi as with trying any different foods for the first time: look at it, smell it and at least try one mouthful of it before passing judgement. More often than not the precluding factor is an impression of the food rather than the flavour or texture of the food itself.

Makoto Chatswood is part of the greater Masuya Group and is the sister sushi bar of Makoto City. It has distinctive walls decorated in cardboard cylinders akin to the centre spools of rolls of clingfilm or aluminium foil. It often has an interesting selection of background music playing – from Michael Jackson to Abba to dance beats.

Monsieur Poisson starts off with a scampi nigiri, one of his many sushi loves, which is not available at all sushi bars. I order a tofu-steak nigiri – it’s not something found on the rotating conveyor, nor does it feature on the laminated menu but I vaguely remember it being on a ‘vegetarian selections’ card some time ago.

I particularly like the salmon and seaweed salad rolls as the textural and flavour contrasts are wonderful. You have the sweet, squishiness of the salmon versus the mild sesame fragrance of the crunchy seaweed salad and the saltiness of the black caviar. And, for completely unrefined reasons, I have the ebi-fry nigiri because I like the combination of crumbed seafood with a creamy sauce; in this case, the topping of egg salad.

Makoto Chatswood usually has spider roll circulating about, which consists of deep-fried soft-shell crab rolled with crab stick, cucumber and an outer coating of black caviar. Oh, and don’t forget the lashings of mayonnaise over the top! And because we have a soft-shell crab craving to fill, we also order a plate of soft-shell crab karaage. The dish comes with two small crabs deep-fried in a very thin, light and crisp coating with sauce for dipping.

The scallop nigiri is a bit smaller than we’ve seen at other places but still good nonetheless. The beef tataki nigiri is tender without being too fatty and comes with generous blobs of grated ginger.

The California roll at Makoto Chatswood is unusual in that it has egg omelette in it and, on this particular occasion, flying fish roe mixed with mayonnaise through the middle as well. The aburi salmon nigiri is a little disappointing as it’s not as smoky as we’d like but is a bargain as it’s been swapped to the lowest priced plate towards end-of-service for the evening.

As all remaining plates of sushi are being reduced in price, I give the daily special – a seafood pie – a try. It’s definitely not Japanese in origin and consists of two prawns and scallops topped with a Mornay-style sauce in a vol-au-vent. It’s not bad but I expect it would have been better when still hot. We finish off with crab stick nigiri and are happy after yet another sushi fix.

336 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9411 1838

Opening Hours:  Mon-Fri  11:30am-3pm (lunch)
 5pm-9:30pm (dinner)
Sat  11:30am-3:30pm (lunch)
       5pm-9:30pm (dinner)
Sun  11:30am-3:30pm (lunch)
        5pm-9pm (dinner)

happy eating!

Makoto on Urbanspoon


  1. I had to do a double take when I saw the Vol au Vent! Funny how they have some non Japanese dishes mixed among the sushi! :)

  2. Hi Lorraine! The vol-au-vent indeed was an unexpected occurrence and I have yet to see it again since.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my humble and very new blog - I always enjoy reading yours. And like you said, comments are like crack!


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