It takes a confident chef to have an open plan kitchen with a counter, especially in such a small restaurant. Everything must be spotless, and all of the food preparation is laid bare to critics, and with all that said it was a delight to sit at the counter and watch the chef in action.
My girlfriend and I originally chose the lunch course with a single starter, but after sampling the delicious cold starter, we asked if it would be possible to upgrade to the full lunch course so that we could have a hot starter in addition to the original pasta dish, main and dessert.
In all due honesty, the food was uniformly excellent from the home-made foccacia down to the desserts. If I had to choose highlights of the course, I would lean towards the cold starter, both of the pasta dishes and the sea bream.
Besides the great food, I should also make a note of the great service provided by Nori-san. She explained each of the dishes to us in detail as she served them, helping me out in English when my Japanese wasn't up to the task, and happily chatted with us and the other customers in the restaurant. The love that Chef Masa and Nori-san have for their restaurant, their customers and the superb food that they serve is plain to see, and that welcoming atmosphere is the icing on the cake of a wonderful dining experience.
Despite visiting Matsumoto to see its beautiful castle, the highlight of my trip was eating lunch at Cucina Masanoli, and I certainly plan a return trip to eat there once again. If you're visiting Matsumoto and fancy eating high quality food (that you would have a hard time finding even in Tokyo), then I strongly recommend eating here.
What we ate:
Sweet potato gratin
Caponata (Sicilian ratatouille)
Marinated Hiratake mushroom
Roasted tuna, served on an ice plant leaf dressed with balsamic vinegar
Coppa (dry cured pork coldcut)
Scallops and mizuna with cream
Home-made Italian sausage arrabiata
Crispy chicken, roast potatos and satoimo
Sea bream with winter vegetables
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.