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This new Friday brunch in Abu Dhabi offers an authentic Japanese culinary journey

Matsu, a restaurant known for its authentic and traditional Japanese cuisine, has just launched SAKURA, their first Friday brunch. 

In Japanese, Sakura (桜 (kanji) refers to the ornamental cherry blossom trees and their blossoms and this is exactly the theme once you step inside the restaurant- the light pink blossoming cherry tree inside the restaurant is the focal point.

Matsu Courtyard Terrace at the first floor

MATSU is truly a hidden gem we discovered in late 2019, located in one of our favorite places in Abu Dhabi, at Yas Links Golf Club. The restaurant is on the first floor of the hacienda looking building and offers two different terraces, one overlooking the mangroves, the golf course, and the seaside (our favorite) and one over the courtyard.

Mangroves, golf and sea views at MATSU

Invited to experience the brunch for its launch in March 2020, we picked an outdoor table facing the sea. The weather was amazing, with a lovely breeze and we had enough sunshades to protect us from the sun. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by a large team, with ladies dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos. Once settled at our table, we discovered the Sakura brunch menu that looked more than promising.

The concept of the brunch, designed by Executive Chef Roy and Chef Yuji Abe, is to exude authentic Japanese cultures and taste with all dishes coming to the table. This type of brunch, served at the table, is one we prefer as it allows guests to fully unwind, enjoy the culinary journey and have enough time to chat with one another.

The Sakura brunch started with a first-round entitled Omotenashi consisting of a mix of light bites that soon filled up the whole table.

It included a traditional Miso Soup, Edamame topped gomasio (a sesame salt condiment), Seafood Tartar to Hiyayako (diced tofu in katsuo soy dressing), Matsu Salada (cherry tomato, grapefruit, mixed leaves, and miso dressing) and Potato and Kani Salada (crab meat, mash potato, carrot and cucumber with Japanese mayo dressing). We enjoyed every single bite and our favorite was the refreshing assorted seaweed with a subtle ponzu dressing.


After a first pause, the brunch went on with a selection of four different tempuras (see menu below). The potato croquette got our preference – it was also filled with crab meat – along with the spicy calamari tempura that paired well with an unusual aioli prepared with chives.

Tempura tasting

Soon after, our waitress brought over a gorgeous platter of sushi, sashimi, and maki, freshly prepared by the Matsu Chef’s team that made us feel really spoilt.

After enjoying a short break, our waitress suggested we re-order some of the different bites, tempura or maki/sushi/sashimi which we declined as we were quite full and wanted to save space for the main course and dessert.

Once ready to move on to the main course and sides, you just have to inform your waiter and pick your main course out of a selection of four and a side dish also out of four options.

Gyuniku and Yaki Udon

We hesitated between the creamy Japanese Coconut Curry and the Gyuniku (chargrilled beef steak) and we finally picked the meat protein along with fried udon noodles served with vegetables. Our beef flank steak cut in thin slices was topped with harissa butter (a first that was not too spicy for our taste).

Our partner went for the seared tuna steak that was almost caramelized and chose the chilly soba noodles as a side. Tasting soba noodles served with a cold soba sauce was another first that pleased our palate and was nicely refreshing.

Tuna Steak and Tsumeta Soba

We asked for another break before moving on to the dessert. A colorful platter came to the table, filled with a mix of fresh-cut fruits (melon, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries… ) along with a slice of matcha roll cake, a few pieces of the traditional Japanese cheesecake and two scoops of icecreams. A light and fresh ending to this winning gastronomic journey highlighting different types of dishes Japan is famous for.

Dessert Platter

Verdict? A must-try

If you are craving refined traditional Japanese cuisine, this brunch is one to try as you get to discover and enjoy a large variety of delightful bites and Japanese dishes, all homemade and prepared with high quality and fresh ingredients. There is not a single dish we didn’t fancy throughout the whole afternoon and we appreciated guests get enough time to rest and enjoy in between the different courses that are all generous portions.

Lastly, with a maximum of 25 tables at MATSU, we felt the whole team was totally dedicated to having all the diners spend a fantastic afternoon and experience a delightful culinary journey.

Guests can choose to accompany the mouthwatering dishes with free-flowing soft drinks for AED 399, house beverages for AED 499, or with premium beverages for AED 599.

All Details about The Friday Sakura Brunch at Matsu

When: Every Friday from March 6th, 1pm to 4pm
Where: Matsu, 1st Floor, Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island
AED 399 per person with soft drinks
AED 499 per person with house beverages
AED 599 per person with premium beverages

Sakura Brunch Menu

Reservations: +971 2 556 0096
Email: [email protected]
Find out more by visiting 

In addition, Matsu Abu Dhabi just announced that it will now be open seven days a week from lunchtime until dinner. Matsu will serve from 12.30pm until 11pm every day, so guests can experience a truly exhilarating culinary journey with an array of authentic Japanese dishes.

MATSU  | Website | Location map

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