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07th Sep 2023

Matsukawa, Dublin’s only Omakase restaurant has opened in Smithfield

Fiona Frawley


In keeping with the current trend of tasting menus across Dublin, Omakase translates as “I’ll leave it up to you, Chef.”

In the last few months, Dubliners have been treated to an exciting array of openers from steakhouses to Spanish-inspired seafood bars. It’s no secret that the city has been excelling in terms of small plates and tasting menus, but Smithfield’s newest opener is offering something completely unique.

Dublin 7 locals may have noticed Matsukawa quietly setting up camp on Queen Street, with pared-back interiors and an emphasis on artisan dining equipment such as their handcrafted Japanese glassware and tasteful handmade chopsticks. Accoutrements like this set the scene for an 18-course tasting menu, expertly paired with Japanese tea.

The snug space that used to house Woke Up Cafe, has been completely transformed, High-ceilinged and compact the space is dominated by a high table facing the all-important preparation area.

Chef Takuma Tamaoki (formerly of Galway’s Wa Sushi) is behind the counter delicately forming rice and slicing aged and preserved tidy sections of fish. A lot of thought has been placed into every shelf, countertop and table, everything is thought-out and well-considered.


Matsukawa, the first Omakase restaurant in Dublin opened in Smithfield last month.

Omakase which roughly translates as “I’ll leave it up to you” is a traditional way of serving sushi, which sees patrons sit at the bar while the chef serves them directly. Each course is seasonal and elegant, using the finest ingredients available and simple preparations. It’s a dining style steeped in ritual, and in keeping with traditional sushi bars in Japan which usually don’t have menus at all.

At Matsukawa, the dining experience is split up into 18 courses – two starters, two types of sashimi, a warm dish, 12 courses of nigiri, followed by soup and then dessert. At €90pp it’s probably an experience you’ll be saving for a special occasion, but one we envisage Dublin foodies queueing up for nonetheless.


Photos from


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