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“Don't expect to be warmly welcomed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Matsuri

Matsuri
15 Bury St, London SW1Y 6AL, England (Mayfair / St James's / Piccadilly / Green Park )
020-7839-1101
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Ranked #3,208 of 18,011 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Mayfair / St James's / Piccadilly / Green Park 
Description: Matsuri St James's is based in the heart of Mayfair, offering a wide variety of Japanese food from authentic to innovative. Using top quality ingredients we create a beautiful harmony including teppanyaki - a cooking style in which a chef cooks in front of you. The Sushi bar is very popular among Japanese expatriates as they recognise the same quality as they eat in Japan.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Don't expect to be warmly welcomed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

My family has been dining in Matsuri since I was a toddler, I am now 32! My father had quite a good relationship with the manager who would always allow us to dine in the private dining room even though there were only 3 of us.
Since my father passed away in 2007 I have been back with my mother and, on separate occasions, with my fiancé.
The manager is no longer Japanese but Italian which you would think would add a bit more atmosphere to the rather cold and clinical restaurant; unfortunately nothing has changed. In fact, things are probably worse than ever: my fiancé and I dined there a month ago and I know they always bring two simple chocolates with the bill. I asked them whether I could have a chocolate with my coffee instead and they said "no, we give the chocolate with the bill". This is the treatment one gets after spending £250 on a meal for two!
I decided to give matsuri another try for my birthday that is coming up. I emailed them to ask them for the private room as there will be 6 adults and 2 children and I wanted everyone to be able to hear each other. I was told that it is policy to charge £100 for the private room. Even after speaking to them and explaining my late father's loyalty towards the restaurant, they would not budge. Needless to say, it is good Japanese food but not good enough to put up with all these strict "policies".

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    69
    24
    14
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Food Good, but service and flair lacking”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

The whole process of the restaurant from when you arrive doesn't seem to flow and everything seems to take an age. Coats are taken but then your left for a while for them to be put away. Once sat took us over 45 minutes to order. Had to ask several times for wine to be topped up. There didn't seem to be someone controlling the table when food was served, it was just put down and not explained. In comparison with the likes of Zuma, Roka, Nobu etc. you have a real sense of being looked after. Here we did not. Restaurant lacked atmosphere until the chef cooks the food in front of you which is a highlight especially the flaming ice cream.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kings Lynn
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Expensive and not as impressive as expected.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

We had heard loads of rave reviews about this place so thought we had to check it out.
Our booking was for 9.30 pm which was perhaps a mistake.
The setting is nice, not mind blowing, and the staff at the entrance are friendly enough.
Once you are shown to your seat the vibe changes slightly. Most of the other diners were finishing their meals and we did feel slightly like we were holding things up! We received our menus with little or no explanation. There were a few authenticly dressed ladies floating around but I think we had the cooks wife serving us. She didnt speak much/any English and I didnt speak her local tounge!
Once we guessed at a set menu the order was placed and dishes started to roll out. We had assumed all the food would be cooked in front of us at the large hot plate we were now sitting around but it appeared the first 4 courses to our meal were preparedin the ktichen! Again, had the menu been explained we wouldnt have made that mistake, after all, we were there to experience our food being cooked in front of us.
After we polished off our first few courses (non of which were great) the chef turned up to cook our meat dishes.
I have to say, I think he wanted to get home.
There was no theatre or showmanship as we had hoped (and in fact as we had been told would happen). He just came out, plonked our meet on the hot plate, turned it a few times and served it up!! I would have had more fun cooking it myself!
The food itself was ok but not worht anything like the price tag. Four of us paid over £600 for a very average meal. This did include a 12.5% service charge which they added on which in hindsight we should have removed.
All in all really dissapointed and for the price felt robbed. Had the chef made a bit more effort to entertain us whilst cooking the once dish he did I may have felt a bit better!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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St. Neots, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We went to Matsuri with a little doubt in our minds after reading some reviews saying that it wasn't worth what you pay for, but as soon as we walked in and were welcomed by the lovely staff, we didn't have a single doubt in our minds.
We sat at a teppanyaki table, which I would recommend, as watching your food be prepared right in front of you in such a beautiful way is great entertainment, and the chefs who cooked ours for us were both extremely friendly and funny. From start to finish the food was exquisite, and it was easy to tell that the produce was of very high quality. I will admit that it was expensive - that can't be denied - but when the staff and the food have created such a wonderful experience, it really is worth it.

I have eaten Japanese food at other places before, and had teppanyaki once before, but this was definitely the best experience of both. Please, treat yourself and visit this amazing restaurant, you will definitely not regret it. (And have the fireball ice-cream!)

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Ring the bank manager first”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Reliably good and very Japanese, exactly what it says on the tin. Underground restaurant, smart.
Lunch for two, some sushi, miso, fried rice and beef Teppanyaki, no booze, GBP 165.
Ouch.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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