Nichiyo (Sunday) brunch has been a crowd pleaser at the renowned chef’s previous restaurants in Hong Kong and London but he has been waiting for the right time to introduce it to MASU on Federal Street at SKYCITY. The new menu replaces MASU’s Sunday lunch service entirely and has been specially designed to be family friendly.
“With summer out of the way and the cooler months ahead we think the timing is perfect,” he says. “Nichiyo is adding a completely new dimension to the Sunday brunch scene in Auckland – it’s our version of the Chinese yum cha.”
Watt says he knows how hard it can be to dine with children so that both kids and adults have a full and enjoyable experience. So he came up with a solution that he says works well.
“We’re using the private Obi dining room for the kids where they’ll have toys, DVDs and a bento box designed with young palates in mind,” Watt says. “It is optional so if the adults prefer, their children can join them at the main table.
Guests start with a continuous selection of salads, sashimi, maki rolls and other small dishes available at MASU’s renowned robata counter. Chefs also slice sashimi and make maki rolls to order.
Other types of dishes include green bean and sesame salad, smoked eggplant with tosazu dressing – MASU’s Japanese take on the taco – soba noodles with crab and whitebait omelettes. Everything is made fresh and the chefs are continuously refreshing the selection throughout the day.
To follow, diners choose from a selection of dishes for their ‘main’ such as Ōra King Salmon teriyaki, lamb leg with hot pepper spices, and master stock baby back pork ribs. Diners can upgrade to MASU’s celebrated black cod and black wagyu beef options.
Finally, the table is served one of MASU’s famous dessert platters, filled to the brim with a selection of treats such as fresh fruit ice creams and sorbets, MASU’s signature chocolate dessert and fresh fruit.
MASU sommelier Meg Abbot Walker has put together a special half-bottle wine list on the presumption that people may want a modest tipple to go with their brunch. MASU bar manager Brandon has also created delicious brunch-time cocktails in Bloody Mary and low alcohol mixes.
The okosama (kids) bento box is filled with child-friendly Japanese dishes such as prawn tempura, cucumber maki roll, salmon sashimi, rice and broccoli. Watt says the beauty of the bento box is that it can be covered by a lid so kids can pop off to see mum and dad or to make origami and come back to a meal that is still warm and fresh.
The menu is available Sundays only between 11am and 3pm and costs $58 per person for adults and $26 per person for children with under-fives dining free. Pricing does not include drinks.
MASU serves its first Nichiyo (Sunday) brunch on May 3.