With so many Thai-Sushi-Asian combination restaurants around, its sometime difficult to find true Japanese restaurant. My recent teriyaki crave led me to Masamune Japanese Restaurant in Deerfield Beach. Located in a small, stand-alone building just next to the large strip mall at Hillsboro and US1, you could easily pass them right by. Parking was a breeze since I arrived just before the lunch rush.
I opted for table seating over the sushi bar and got a small table in the front. Masamune isn’t that large of a restaurant and they do squeeze quite a few tables in making for an occasional close neighbor.
Luckily, my table was against a wall so I had a bit more privacy, which worked out great. The décor is a bit more modern, with solid yellow walls and stone work behind the sushi bar. I did find it odd that they had the dining room area fully carpeted. Most restaurants are moving away from carpet as it tends to hold onto odor through time. There was only one server working the room and she appeared to be just a bit frazzled. The cashier was assisting and gave my drink order and looked over the menu.
Since this is a Japanese restaurant, you won’t find Pad Thai and other Thai dishes. The focus is of course Japanese with lots of sushi options. They have a big selection of “pumped up” rolls with a lot more options like sashimi and regular sushi and a nice assortment of tempura and teriyaki. I saw the lunch specials on the back and figured I’d try the Teriyaki Salmon & California Box. All ‘boxes’ are like combos and come with miso soup, salad, noodle & gyoza (dumpling). By the time my can of soda came ($2.50), I was ready to order. The soup and salad came out within minutes and together, with the main ‘lunch box’ coming out in maybe 20-25 minutes.
Miso soup (included with lunch box). This was your typical miso soup. Slightly salty, it was only ‘warm’ and could have been served at a higher temperature. I only got one tiny cube of tofu and a few leaves of seaweed, so it was mostly broth.
Salad (included with lunch box). Iceburg is the choice of lettuce with some regular mix-ins of shredded carrots and cabbage. While the salad was nicely chilled and fresh, the dressing fell flat being a bit too thick and without flavor. I really wanted had a taste for ginger dressing.
Teriyaki Salmon & California Lunch Box ($9.95). The salmon was a nice fillet and was seared to perfection, which kept it moist. The salmon also had a nice flavor, not fishy at all, and the teriyaki sauce on top was just the right amount. The gyoza were lightly fried and were actually quite flavorful, with quite a bit of ginger (yeah!! I found the ginger that was supposed to go in the salad dressing!!).
The noodles were a bit puzzling as they were chilled and not really sauced. The California rolls were stacked nicely and were fresh. I know this isn’t really a true roll to grade the quality of sushi rolls as everyone has these today.
Overall the food was actually quite good and reasonably priced and next time I’d skip the overpriced soda. Service was a bit slower than expected, but with so many pieces to every dish, it takes time to coordinate rolls and hot items. The server did her best keeping up with the rush and the cashier was a real team player as well.
Masamune Japanese Restaurant is located at 310 S Federal Hwy Deerfield Beach, FL.