Review: Matoi Sushi: The best sushi in Tampa

Matoi is a must-try

Kaden Thomas, Staff Writer

Matoi Sushi, located on Dale Mabry Highway, has introduced me to amazing sushi in the Tampa Bay area. While I don’t have the experience to compare them to other sushi restaurants, I can guarantee that it will be hard for others to measure up.

The outside of the restaurant is very simplistic with LED lights on the top. There are many places to sit, with booths aligning the edge of the restaurant; this was definitely a plus for me because I find booths much more comfortable than chairs. The furniture and atmosphere makes the place feel very chill and calm, there is even an aquarium next to one of the booths. The waiters are all very nice and efficient, and the food comes quickly for a sushi place.

To start off, I got a ginger salad which was very good and a healthier option in my opinion. Then, for the main course I got the Gator Roll, a sushi roll with fried gator and cream cheese topped with avocado, split into 12 pieces. Matoi has a rather extensive sushi menu of classic and local favorites to choose from, including a Tampa Bay Roll, a Buccaneers Roll and more.

The Gator Roll comes with soy sauce and wasabi, which I had heard of before but never tried; it was really spicy and the staff were not kidding when they said it was spicy–it’s pretty crazy. They also give you chopsticks to use and it’s a fun experience trying to use them. I wasn’t good at using them, but I’m learning. My favorite way to eat sushi is to pick up a tiny piece of wasabi and put it on the sushi, then grab the sushi and dip it in the soy sauce. Since this method mixes multiple flavors, I definitely recommend it.

I had never tried gator before this, but I must say it tasted amazing. At least cooked in this fashion, it’s much better than chicken or steak. Everything on this compact sushi roll really blends together and packs a powerful punch. It also showed me how much I liked cream cheese and avocado.

Overall, I would definitely give this place a five star rating due to how friendly the staff is, the seating and atmosphere and of course, the great food. It is also reasonably priced, which is very nice since their food is worth it. I highly recommend that you eat here and if you do, you should get the Gator Roll.


Address: 602 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609

Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 A.M. to 10 P.M.