If I had reviewed Musashi two years ago I would have discovered a hidden gem, but at this stage I’ve kind of missed the boat. Musashi has two outlets in the city and a sister restaurant called Zakura. It’s now gained such a reputation that no conversation about sushi in this city would be complete without mentioning it.
The thing is, no one values a restaurant recommendation as much as they value one for sushi. At posh parties sushi recommendations are traded like currency, tip offs are spoken in whispers. I’d take a punt on any other type of restaurant, but when it comes to raw fish the stakes are higher. I need a solid recommendation from a credible and solvent source, and there is no shortage of those for Musashi.
Capel street got a bit of a drumming over on Lovin Dublin when it was described as “a mixture of junkies, adult shops, head shops, places selling mattresses and early houses”. Ranelagh this is not, but let’s not forget this is the home of Brother Hubbard, the Black Sheep, Jack Nealons and Pantibar. It’s hardly the grim final frontier of civilisation either. Musashi is at the Liffey end of Capel Street, not far from any of those three fine establishments.
I’ve had takeaway sushi on several occasions now but this is the first time I managed to get down to Musashi and it was the Wednesday €8.99 bento box special that did it. This one had crispy and flaky haddock katsu (that’s fried fish in a light breadcrumb for those of you who get mixed up between your ramens and your pankos), Sweet Chilli Chicken, two pieces of tasty sushi with a sort of creamy crab filling (good for rookie sushi eaters, not quite hardcore enough for me but tasty all the same), steamed rice and a little bowl of surprisingly tasty miso soup. A tiny cup of green tea and a glass of water with a slice of lemon (it’s the little touches) were free. At €10 including a tip this is an excellent value lunch.
Inside Musashi is all clean lines and Japanese neatness. The dining area is simple and functional, the staff are friendly and the food is excellent. Fine dining this is not but good Japanese food it is. You can whisper that to someone at the next party you go to.
Musashi Noodles and Sushi Bar
15 Capel Street, Dublin 1
01-532 80 68
01-532 80 57