In Japanese culture, a ‘masu’ is a small wooden box used for drinking sake out, in a ritual that symbolises abundance and goodwill, but to most New Zealanders, and Aucklanders in particular, Masu is the name of an award-winning Japanese robota restaurant, launched two years ago at Skycity. Thanks to a new cookbook that combines amazing photography with clever cooking and tips, its successful story and stunning recipes are now available for everyone to enjoy.
Masu is a brainchild of its leading chef, Nic Watt, who honed his skills in Michelin-starred establishments in Tokyo and London before returning to New Zealand, finally realising the long-held dream to launch his own ‘creature’ in Auckland.
“I’ve opened a few restaurants now, but the first night at Masu was by far the most nerve-wracking. It’s one thing to open a restaurant overseas, but bringing everything back home is something else,” Watt said. Those worries belong to the past, and the chef is keen to show how easy Japanese food can be, once you understand its key ingredients and their uses.