Now that Chicago seems to be done with daily thunderstorms and downpours, outside dining is appealing. This past weekend I decided to stretch a little and venture out to the West Suburbs. I had cravings for sushi, so I searched for a restaurant accordingly. Mata Ne at 130 N. York Street in Elmhurst became my landing spot.
I started with a bowl of crispy cauliflower. Cauliflower has become something of a super, all-purpose vegetable that doesn’t always taste the best. At Mata Ne, the crispy cauliflower tastes absolutely divine. Not overloaded with seasoning, you can taste the cauliflower along with a hint of the sesame miso glaze. Those looking for vegetarian and vegan options would enjoy this starter.
For my second landing, I ordered the smoked tataki trio. Hamachi, salmon, and tuna topped with ikura, chimichurri, smoked sweet soy, and crispy shallots came to the table served under a smoked dome. The sommelier paired this delectable sashimi trio with a cabernet sauvignon that made this landing heaven on the palate.
I ordered two signature rolls for the third landing. The Dragon Fire of shrimp tempura, crab, spicy tuna, tobiko, chili aioli, and tempura crispies quickly became what I would flag as a favorite. The Seafood Dynamite was a flavor explosion of lobster, crab, shrimp, tempura, serrano, avocado, and ponzu sauce served atop tempura soy paper. Both were quality rolls, for sure. Whenever I return, I will have to alternate between having one or the other while trying other rolls on the menu, even if I have to order one or both for takeaway.
My final landing was a plate of beignets stuffed with a hazelnut sauce. Not necessarily an Asian dessert, that being it mostly French, I’m glad I ordered it anyway. The beignets were finger-sized, so they were not overwhelming, especially given I had eaten so much food prior to dessert. They are ideal for sharing.
Mata Net opened in mid 2021 and looks to have ironed out any kinks that they may have encountered since. Service was outstanding. The quality in the flavors were top. And the atmosphere was perfect for outside dining on the front sidewalk-turned-patio. I didn’t spend great time digesting the menu, but there appears to be a bit of a pan-Asian feel to it (e.g., Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese), with Japanese being most dominant. Given the first impression I got on the first visit, I shall definitely return to try some other menu offerings.