Driving to Towada City, there is a small French restaurant near Kitasato University. The restaurant is quietly set a little bit back from the street, but the antiquated French flag sign and entrance leisurely remain quaint. As you walk in the restaurant, the warm sunlight from the center ceiling lightens up the dining area and leaves a nostalgic feeling. Brasserie Masuda was opened eight years ago by Chef Yasutoshi Masuda. He is originally from Moji in Fukuoka Prefecture and has lots of experience with French cuisine after studying in Bretagne, Bourgogne and Basque.
In September, my girlfriend and I finally called over to the restaurant because I was always curious about the restaurant's presence every time I drove by in Towada. I still clearly remember that we were not initially certain about the restaurant and our orders until we took a bite of his tasteful soup. Then, the uncertainty instantly became a sense of expectancy. From the soup to the dessert, as the chef and his partner delicately served the dishes; to our surprise, we were amazed by his hearty cooking. The restaurant lunch courses are simply: for example, beef, chicken or seafood with choices of daily soups, rice or bread and also includes their special desserts and drinks for 1,350 yen (subject to change).
His passion and motto are to use fresh local ingredients. His great network with local farmers and markets are uniquely arranged and tactfully shown on his special dishes. For example, his specialty, herbal chiffon cakes, uses local organic fresh herbs like basil and mint from Onishi Herb in Rokunohe. To create this unique and excellent dessert, he tried and figured it out along the way after baking the cake over a thousand times. This cake was also introduced in a magazine called Fujin Gaho/October 2010. In his entrees, colorful vegetables from local farmers set off the main dishes. By extending the bullet train's railway in Tohoku to Shichinohe and Aomori, East Japan Railway Company now tries to receive considerable publicity in local attractive spots and destinations. Brasserie Masuda was recently placed in their monthly bulletin called Otonano Kyuujitsu Club (targeting vacations for 40 and older).
During my interview with Mr. Masuda, he energetically talked about how seasonal items and great foods give him new ideas for his recipes. Currently, he is working on new dishes using butternut squash. I am looking forward to visiting the restaurant again for his pleasant smile and soul foods.
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