It was my birthday last month. For my birthday, my best mate decided that it’d be a good idea for me to experience a bit of fine dining to spruce things up a bit. In past months, Nobu has a been a place that has rolled off the tip of people’s tongues around me quite often. And in each mentioning, I was always highly recommended to go check this Japanese restaurant out. Nobu represents a new style of modern Japanese fine dining for its innovation in Japanese cuisine. Located on the Southbanks of Melbourne in Melbourne’s jewelled Crown Casino, the establishment is popular choice for an elegant night out in town.
Crispy oysters with creamy wasabi and caviar
We ordered few small entrees to get us started for the night. These crispy little oysters encased in a bundle of angel hair noodles were very hot, served fresh straight out of the deep fryer. Although tempting to engulf the little pieces in one go, I would such taking a bite into them first to appreciate the wonderful flavours trapped inside.
Sashimi tacos with yellowtail, salmon, lobster and snow crab
I must admit, I did initially think that the lobster and snow crab would be served as sashimi as well so I was a little surprised when these sashimi tacos came out and both meats were cooked. I didn’t enjoy these tacos as much as I wanted to. The taco shell was a bit too salty for my liking and cooked seafood such as lobster and crab served cold has never been a personal favourite.
Black cod miso
Now lets take a moment to marvel this one. This dish was without doubt, the highlight of my night. Never in my life have a tasted fish so delicious before. My friend had spoken to me how much he really wanted to order this dish again and I admit, I was a little skeptical. But once I had a taste, it will be a taste I would not forget. My mind was blown.
For any Toriko anime fans out there reading this, I’ll say this. This black cod miso would make it onto my life’s full course menu as the fish dish. I’m not kidding.
The silky rich soft texture of the black cod works wonderfully with the sweet and savoury sticky miso glaze. It’s so simple and once you eat it, all you can do afterwards is stop for a moment to think about how nice it tastes.
Baby tiger prawn tempura with creamy spicy sauce
Wagyu gyoza with goma ponzu
And so were these. The gyoza skin was just the right thickness, it was silky soft at the parts that did not touch the bottom of the pan and just the right amount of crispy where they did. You can taste the wagyu because it was not too overpowered by the seasoning and other filler ingredients. They were moist and full of juicy goodness.
Nobu’s House special vegetarian hand roll
Beautifully cut nori roll pieces wrapped in a thin layer of shaved daikon. The vegetables used as filling were certainly something new to me as I’ve never tried okra before. Mildly flavoured the combination of okra, carrot, beans, baby spinach leaves, avocado and cucumber made for a a very light accompaniment to the rest of the meal.
Sushi and sashimi platter
After ordering a selection of cold dishes from the menu, some sushi rolls and sashimi my friend and I were wondering why none these had been served to us yet. Until that is, I saw a our waiter carrying this beautiful platter out. Featuring all the random bits and pieces we ordered from the menu, the chef had beautifully arranged it all on this platter you see here.
On the far left at the end is the vegetable hand roll with sesame miso (from the cold menu) that I had been anticipating (and it was delicious by the way), followed by soft shell crab nori rolls and a selection of sashimi my friend had wanted to try out.
We ended the dinner with something sweet and thought to try what is like a molten lava cake with matcha ice cream while I wanted to try the peanut butter crumble with apricot or peach gel and ice cream. Both desserts were very nice and the chocolate cake in particular was extremely rich. The matcha ice cream was made with some really good quality matcha but ice cream itself was not as smooth as we would have liked as there were actually bits of ice that had not emulsified with the cream properly.
My overall dining experience at Nobu was a good one. Our waiter gave us enough room and space for my friend and I to talk without being interrupted too often. Although we ended up dining for over three hours, no one made us feel like we had to leave because the time we were allocated was up. I was very pleased with the courtesy and patience that was shown to us in general when my friend had our moments of indecisiveness or when we were too busy talking to even begin ordering any food.
A great experience and certainly one I would recommend to others to come and try…at least once. As for me, I would definitely be coming back for the black cod miso, that is until I’m able to do a good job at replicating it at home. And that…might take a while.