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Restaurants & Bars 2

Hama Matsu Sushi in Andersonville

pdaane | Jan 19, 200404:10 PM

Two friends and I enjoyed our dining experience at Hama Matsu a week ago Saturday. HM is a new sushi bar to hit the South end of Andersonville, a bit south of Foster.

I don’t eat much sushi, so it is fairly difficult to for me to judge if one place is better than others. However, my two dining companions seemed to like it very much. Of particular note, the fish is much larger than the rice ball (about 2:1), which I understand is much preferred. I liked it all and did not note any off tastes or flavors, which is pretty much my level of comprehension. We had the sweet shrimp which is served raw tail and deep fried head. The lady I was dining with couldn’t get over the large fried heads….I allowed her to have mine.

I believe the place is Korean-owned, because they served three small bowls of panchen with the meal (cabbage good, fish ball unremarkable, something else that was good). We were served miso twice (which was delicious both times), other than that the service was very attentive. In fact we were there were only about three other tables for a Saturday evening (6:30-9pm). The place is BYO and they happily served glassware and a corkscrew. The sushi chef and another “in-training” chef sent of comp rolls, both of which we enjoyed very much. We were stuffed near the end of the meal.

However, we did order dessert and I am glad we did. The mochi was some of the best I have ever had and brought with it an understanding of why people like this stuff. Before, I have had it two or three times in restaurants and several times from Asian stores, I liked the green tea ice cream underneath, but not the rice flour paste coating. This was great. We even asked where the owner gets it and he would only tell us from a Japanese food vendor. We also received a complimentary icy cinnamon/spice “tea” (maybe tisane is a better word) that was very good and seemed to rejuvenate our taste buds. It was almost a reduction of sugar water in which cinnamon stick were steeped. They served it with one or two ice cubes, but I bet it is great hot or cold.

I would like to see this place survive, if only because it is close to where I live. I do not care for the Tokyo Marina, which is actually closer, if only because of the service and they always seem to get my carryout order wrong (its also a bit more commercial). I am a bit concerned about their longevity. My dining companion said more people would come in if they had a lighted sign. The owner replied that he ran out of money after fixing up the place. Under capitalized and opening in December/January sounds like a recipe for failure, but I sure hope he beats the odds.

Stop by before it is too late. You will be treated to great hospitality and the sushi is very good.

Hama Matsu
5437-ish North Clark
Chicago, Illinois

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