Nobu is a top tier Japanese restaurant with an International presence. Since making its mark in Perth some 5 years ago, Nobu has gone from strength to strength and even took out the title of best Japanese fine dining on some blogs. But for some reason, I was never quite curious enough to step into Nobu, until today. Nobu’s menu is a cross between Peruvian and Japanese but is it a winner against my preferred French and Japanese fusion? Lets check it out.
New Style Sashimi, Kingfish with Jalapeño.
This is one of Nobu’s most popular dish, but I was not convinced that the freshness and touch of citrus burst in the soy was enough to justify its popularity.
Seared Salmon YUZU KARASHI SU MISO
This dish on the other hand was wow! Start with the thick slices of perfectly seared salmon, wrap the fried leeks in the salmon before dipping it in the complex sauce of yuzu, miso and hot mustard. Its a real act of balancing here. So many things happening in one bite. The citrusy beginning followed by a nice salty-almost sweet miso and to end it all was a hint of heat from the mustard! Complex flavours working in harmony with one another.
Popcorn Prawn with Spicy Mayonnaise
Another Instagram favourite, the popcorn prawn. Unless you have a prawn allergy, there is very little to dislike about crispy battered prawns. Crunchy, salty and juicy in each bite, it is a crowd pleaser on its own. Unfortunately these did not pack the crunch I wanted. Then comes the spicy mayonnaise. I have had plenty of spicy mayonnaise but I was not satisfied by the spicy mayonnaise in Nobu. It tasted flat and perhaps a little boring. Perhaps they could bump it up with more Sriracha? Or maybe I am just too used to having Spicy Mayo made from Sriracha and Mayo!
Black Cod Miso
I talked about favourites at Nobu earlier but if Nobu is famous for something, it has to be its Black Cod Miso. Presentation was everything I had expected to see and the flakiness of the cod was perfect. There is something therapeutic about layers of fish flaking off one layer at a time. It is like enjoying the marbling of a fine Wagyu! Flavour wise the caramelised miso was nutty, sweet and salty all at the same time! Another high point! Was it deserving of the hype? It sure was. If only the skin had more appeal hmmm.
The Yakitori is to the Japanese what the Anticucho would be for the Peruvians (according to google). Yay/Nay/Ok? At best, it was only going to qualify for an OK. The Anticucho was unfortunately drier than expected and it not for the punchy sauce, it would have been a write-off. I guess after going to the Michelin Star Tori Shin in NYC, very few chicken skewers are able to satisfy me with the exception of a finely executed Chicken Satay :P!
Pork Belly Spicy Miso Caramel
With my favourite Buta No Kakuni not on the list, I thought I would give the Miso Caramel Pork Belly a try. Bad choice.
Fillet Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki Sauce.
The last savoury dish of the night was the Fillet Mignon with a Truffle Teriyaki Sauce. Was it simply Beef Teriyaki with a fancy price tag? Fortunately not! The advantage about using a quality meat like the fillet mignon is that it packs a good beefy flavour without the fat. The Teriyaki sauce was OK, but I was hoping for a more impactful truffle taste in the Teriyaki. The addition of Truffle from Nobu would struggle to compete with the flavours I get from the drizzling of a quality truffle oil on regular steak. Sad but true. Another bummer was that we ordered medium only to be served medium-well! Bummer much? =/!
Last but not least was dessert to share. Pictured below is the Miso Cappuccino (we also ordered another Nobu Dessert Bento!)
Talk about Miso overkill! This was the 4th dish with Miso and while I disagreed with the order at first, I was actually glad my sister got it. The Miso Cappuccino was delicious! Frothy, at the top with a hint of miso. It was not plain miso in your face but rather layers of frothed milk, miso, chocolate creme and I think some biscuit crumbs? Also, that shine on the froth with that perfectly positioned Nobu badge! Absolute precision! Enjoyable in every bite.
The bill was $300 for the night (without drinks) and was not as expensive as I thought it would be. So yay or nay? I am giving Nobu a yay but it barely got there! My expectation for the night was a 9, but it ultimately delivered a respectable 7. So where did it go wrong? Well lets start with what it did well. The seared salmon with a complex taste composition was definitely a winner along with Nobu’s signature Black Cod Miso. I also quite liked the Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki but was let down by the lack of truffle flavours. Oooh did I mention the really delicious Miso Cappuccino too? Then comes the let downs which were the Pork belly, and the Chicken Anticucho. Sashimi King Fish and Popcorn Prawns which are popular among Nobu’s diners lacked a punch! Sister reckons we should give them another try perhaps for lunch as they are usually less busy and the food is much better! Perhaps I will one of these days. For now I will stick to French Japanese combinations.