Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful times of your life. I can certainly tell you after doing so recently, it most definitely is.
A change like relocating is extremely exciting, but with that excitement comes the nerve-wracking and emotional ball of anxiety that has sat in the pit of my stomach for the past few months.
When I am stressed I turn to food for comfort. It is my sanctuary, it is familiar, and it makes me feels safe. My boyfriend knows how much enjoyment I get from eating out so suggested to celebrate our first week in our new home that we headed out for a bite to eat.
After all, if I had to find another home for the 20 million cables we have somehow accumulated over the past five years or so, I might just have lost myself.
I wanted to go somewhere casual, somewhere that would offer great food but required minimal effort on the dress code front.
Masaki in Aberdeen
Having recently opened I figured Masaki on Langstane Place in Aberdeen would be the perfect spot.
I booked a table online that Saturday morning for 6pm, which was the latest available time for dinner service.
We decided to get our steps in and walked to the restaurant.
Arriving, we opened the doors to a minimalistic, slightly rustic venue which has flowers on the tables and foliage and ornaments scattered throughout.
Still a bit of a work in progress, it immediately made me feel right at home having just left our own work in progress.
A big welcoming Masaki sign was on the wall and was one of the first things I noticed walking in. While the open grill that Yatai was so well know for has been hidden away, and the green walls swapped for white and dark grey walls, Masaki had brought a refreshing new business to the upper end of town and I was looking forward to getting stuck in.
As it is still in the process of organising its license, the venue allows for you to bring your own booze, with a range of hot teas and soft drinks available.
The menu isn’t extensive but it doesn’t need to be, with ramen, rice bowls, sushi and other dishes on offer.
Ordering two Diet Coke’s we picked a selection of items to share to eat, with each dish served as soon as it is prepared.
Our server brought soy sauce, wasabi and fresh ginger to our table, with spoons and chopsticks in hand.
She was very friendly and was happy to advise on any of the choices we weren’t quite sure of.
The first dish to grace our table was the pork ramen. Not the easiest to share, it came with a boiled egg split in half and one big circular slice of pork.
The noodles were very thick and soft and the meat was cooked well. It was awkward to break up the pork as it was one larger piece, but it was very tender so just required the use of chopsticks and a spoon to separate it out.
As for the broth, it was creamy and light, and there was plenty of small pieces of veggies like sweetcorn and chopped spring onion in there. We slurped and slurped with plenty of the broth splashing off our chins as we tried to devour it together.
The spicy crab bowl was next.
This showstopper of the night was a favourite of my boyfriend’s and the one dish he kept going back for more repeatedly.
The crab meat was like nothing he had tried before. With a tinge of spice which briefly sat at the top of your tongue, the creamy aftermath rids any heat to a warming, moreish offering.
There was a lot of crab meat and I used my chopsticks to mix it up into the sticky rice which hid underneath it and the other additions also gracing the outskirts of the bowl including edamame beans, shredded carrot, thinly sliced radish, shredded cucumber and thinly chopped spring onion. Each ingredient allowed the crab to really show off its flavour.
Chicken teriyaki uramaki, salmon nigiri and the special salmon aburi nigiri came last.
We both adored the teriyaki sauce which was drizzled all over the eight pieces of sushi. The sticky rice surrounded the succulent pieces of chicken which had been lightly tossed in the sauce as well.
Each piece was big enough that you could eat it in two bites, but could also consume in a oner for those brave enough to try. A nice bit of crunchy cucumber also added to the dish.
As for the salmon, huge pieces of sliced fish engulfed the bed of rice it sat on top of. The colour was bright and it looked incredibly fresh and had sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
I dipped this one into the soy sauce which added to the flavour, bringing a saltier finish to the fish which helped open more intense flavours up.
The special was one of my favourites of the night. The salmon was slightly seared and you could really relish in that grill taste. The fish was absolutely delicious and melted in our mouths.
On top of the fish was a dollop of Japanese mayonnaise and Unagi sauce which was incredibly tasty and creamy.
As temped as we were by the desserts like brookies with ice cream from local baker Fat Batch, we decided against a sweet and got wrapped up warm in anticipation of getting more steps in before the end of the day.
I was delighted to see how busy it was by the time we were leaving an hour or so later, having been a little quieter on arrival. This was clearly when everyone had booked for.
While Masaki is still a bit of a work in progress, it is clear the team have certainly found their feet and are continuing to showcase high quality Japanese cuisine to the folks of Aberdeen.
That same The Sushi Box quality is still there, and Atisaya is passionate about using local produce which I should highlight is not obvious on the menu, but is indicated in the pricing.
Masaki hits all the right notes if you are looking for a chilled out, relaxed venue where you can enjoy delicious food in a non-pretentious setting.
This is exactly the place you need to go to destress and find a little Zen.
Address: 53 Langstane Place, Aberdeen AB11 6EN
Price: £40 for two main courses, some sushi dishes and two drinks for two.