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May 15, 2013 07:53 AM

Matata Asian Cuisine - Middletown, NJ

Anyone remember Bando in Middletown, a Chowhound favorite a few years ago? This newbie, Matata, opened in their old space and was wondering if anyone has any G2 on them yet...

Matata Asian Cuisine
655 State Route 35
Middletown NJ 07748
(732) 671-8822

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  1. We enjoyed this new Asian Restaurant! Excellent, fresh sushi, unusual dishes, extremely polite & helpful staff! So far so good!

    3 Replies
      1. re: wench31

        No, they serve a variety of Asian dishes...Sushi & some Japanese as well as Thai, Chinese...

      2. re: Nativenewyorker2

        look forward to reying them out. Have heard decent things.

      3. The original comment has been removed
        1. I trust "Matata" is not the Swahili word popularized by The Lion King. Because according to Wiktionary that means "trouble, problems"!

          3 Replies
          1. re: drongo

            When Chinese people open up Japanese restaurants, they usually just make up Japanese sounding name that means nothing or use Japanese city/object as names (Tokyo, Kyoto, Sakura).

            1. re: yCf

              That is so true. I tend to try to avoid chinese owned japanese restaurants because I don't think the food and the quality will be good. There are some exceptions to my thinking.

            2. re: drongo

              Never before has Hakuna been more crucial.... lol

            3. This place has been a chinese restuarant for the longest time. For like 20 years it was another name before bando. I am having a brain freeze but I think it had a "house" in the name.

              YCF, you are right (not to say they can't make decent sushi though.) Are there any monmouth country places that are actually Japanese owned/operated? Shiki is gone now.

              7 Replies
              1. re: corvette johnny

                Shiki blow's my mind, they were the "original" hibachi place(s) in NJ. I can't believe after 30+ years they are gone, the fact the location is a funeral parlor is just creepy to me.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Really, Shiki was the original hibachi? That was our fave spot to go when we were kids.

                  I remember our family going there one night, turns out my dad had entertained clients from Bell Labs there for lunch. What a good sport!

                  And yes, so creepy to drive by and see it's a funeral parlor now.

                2. re: corvette johnny

                  The only one I know of in Monmouth are Kazu in Howell and Taka in Ashbury Park. I have not tried either place.

                  Not in Monmouth, but Ajihei in Priceton and Jo Sho in Franklin Park/Somerset are the other places I know of and tried.

                  In NJ, Mitsuwa in Edgewater is the place to be for anything Japanese.

                    1. re: drongo

                      Ah that it is! I just could not remember.

                    2. re: corvette johnny

                      Hunan House and for years a meet up for my out of town friends. Loved their food, service and family nights buffet style. I never made it to Bando but I'll def. stop by the latest incarnation and hope for the best.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        I went to the Hunan House for years. I loved how the whole family was involved and how they treated my children every time we went.
                        My friend and I were looking for somewhere to eat last night and we just happened to pass Matata; and we were both so glad we happened on this little place. This place is so Good and worth trying. The staff is so cute, overly helpful and friendly that it makes the place worth going to, almost regardless of what the food is like. They explained all the dishes in detail and what they ate and why they liked it. Their recommendations were right on target. Everything that we had was well prepared, well presented and delicious! I took cards for my friends and relatives because I know other will appreciate this place. This is my 1st and probably my last review. I will be at this restaurant again.

                    3. Beautifully prepared, delicious pan-Asian food. Cuisine of China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, plus sushi. BYOB a real plus for keeping the price down. We just had a lovely dinner for $24/person with tax and a generous tip.