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“Good Japanese food”

Matsuei Sushi Bar Panama
Ranked #225 of 1,055 Restaurants in Panama City
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese, International
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Buffet, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed September 26, 2010

The food at Matsuei is OK but not the best in Panama.

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Thank pipayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 58 of 116 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2010

We had heard a couple of people say they really liked Matsuei so we went there looking forward to a good if not brilliant Japanese meal. We did not get it.
There were 6 to 8 other customers in the restaurant as well as my husband and myself, on a Saturday night. It took quite a long time to get menus, to order and to get our fairly ordinary food. Worst of all (for an Australian), my husband sat with an empty beer glass for half an hour. I eventually got up and chased a waitress towards our table. We finally got fresh drinks, but it was too late - we had agreed never to go there again.

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3  Thank CaramutJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2010

Been there 3 times 'different s years' but still needing the `Customer´s Service Class` ..Shame. Not trying going there anymore.
By the way, Good sake, tempura, etc.. and of course Sushi but not the best.

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Thank LekkerLibben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2010

The restaurant is situated in the centre of town and is the oldest Japanese restaurant here. The sushi is good

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Thank pipayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2010

We went to Matsuei after reading the decent reviews but were hugely let down. We arrived to find what appeared from the exterior parking lot to be an authentic Japanese experience.

As we opened the door to the restaurant, a lady in a kimono welcomed us to the place. The ambiance had a quaint Japanese flair. We were excited. The lady in this kimono did not smile. We expected a little more cheerful greeting, like in most Japanese restaurants we'd been to in other parts of the world, including Kyoto. But then again we're living in Panama, so what can we expect! We picked our table and the straight-faced waitress brought us a child seat for our infant! Bonus points. We ordered quickly, choosing the gyoza for starters.

We had come looking forward to authentic Udon noodle bowls to curb our hunger and help us from our head colds. The monotone, smile-less, unenthused-to-the-point-of-boredom waitress brought the gyoza out and it tasted a little off. We thought it was the overly vinegared dipping sauce but we smelled the meat – it was definitely the meat, a little past its prime. Not off to a good start.

We waited for our large beautiful bowls of Udon patiently. Alas, they arrived – in medium sized containers! We tasted the broth and it was not the clean, simple flavors we expected. Unfortunately it was heavily flavored with Ajinomoto, aka MSG! Douh!!!

We were bummed! Not to mention the 3 meats in the soups were low grade meats, the shrimp appeared to have been freshly thawed from a freezer bag. This was only slightly better than fast-food joints you'd see in little side streets of Tokyo tailored to the blue collar worker. The prices did not match the food at all. The prices should have been more like half of what they charged for the quality that was presented.

Though I cannot speak for the sushi since we did not have any, you guessed it, we're not going back. Try at your own risk.

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Thank mamasea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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