Nobu, Melbourne

Thursday, March 01, 2018

It's the name that's almost instantly recognisable as an icon of Japanese cuisine. The Melbourne
location of the famed restaurant empire is one of only two places in Australia where you can sample
Nobu Matsuhisa's internationally renowned 'new style' Japanese cooking, so you can bet that we had
our sights on dining at this place on a recent trip to the city.

Nobu sits on the ground floor of the majestic Crown Casino, overlooking the Yarra River. It is one of 
the more sophisticated restaurants you can dine at in the opulent, multi-storey Crown complex, which 
also has its very own cinema, theatre and bowling alley. The casino is so big that we got lost more 
than once trying to find the restaurant (tip: it's on street level along the water, just past the food court).

The restaurant is spread out over two levels: the upper entry level is home to the bar and has a more 
casual feel, with dim lighting, lounge and bar seating and a DJ when we visit, while the lower ground 
level is a more formal dining space.

Nobu is acclaimed for its innovative take on traditional washoku. On the menu you'll spot a few 
familiar Japanese favourites like sashimi, tempura and sushi, but it's the more creative specialty dishes 
that have earned the restaurant it's cult following. We notice this upon perusing the extensive dinner 
menu; there are entire sections dedicated to Nobu's new style sashimi, tacos and special hot dishes. 
The latter section in particular seems to have some of the more creative  dishes such as Nobu style 
dish & chips, tempura with spicy butter ponzu, short ribs with tomato gastrique and umami sea 
bass. Choosing just a few to order is a difficult task, and our waitress helps us out by recommending 
a few signature dishes to try which include the new style sashimi, Nobu tacos and black cod with 
Saiyko Miso.

Apchee & Akai Yuki - Red Snow Mocktails ($11 each)
We arrive an hour early for our dinner reservation and are taken to a seat at the bar, where we have 
prime position watching the bartenders conjure up colourful Japanese-style cocktails. We start with 
a couple of mocktails. The Apchee mocktail is a refreshing concoction of lychee, apple and lime, 
while the Akai Yuki resembles an icy, drinkable snow cone meddled with flavours of mango, 
pineapple, coconut and raspberry.

Yasei Hana - Wildflower Cocktail ($22)
The Yasai Hana is a citrusy, floral cocktail. The main flavour is yuzu, with subtle rose and vanilla 

Hiramasa Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno ($26)
This is the original yellowtail sashimi, although I've had a similar version at Sake. A soy-based dressing lightly coats each piece of the blush pink Hiramasa, which is in turn topped with a thin slice of Jalapeno. It's an impeccable combination, with the chilli adding a fiery kick to each mouthful.

Tasmanian Salmon New Style Sashimi ($25)
'New Style Sashimi' is a concept that is uniquely Nobu. Essentially, it's sashimi bathed in a hot oil on the table, which cooks the fish ever so slightly and makes it soft and fragrant.

Field Greens with Matsuhisa Dressing ($12.50)
Leafy greens provide freshness and are coated in a light, salty soy dressing.

Black Cod Saikyo Miso ($55)
If there is one dish that Nobu is most famous for, it has to be this Miso Cod.

Yasai Doko Pork Belly, Mustard-Su Miso ($34)
This pork belly dish is bang-on delicious. The pork belly is soft and gelatinous, topped with miniature cubes of sour-sweet apple and an umami-rich miso mustard sauce. 

Spicy Tuna Cut Roll ($15)
Simple but perfectly prepared spicy tuna rolls are filled with slivers of spring onion. Immaculate morsels of spicy goodness.

Petit Four - Matcha Azuki Bean Donut & Earl Grey Mochi Ice Cream ($8)
I absolutely love Japanese desserts so we just had to give the petit fours a try. The first one we sample is the green tea and red bean donut, which is a delightful mouthful. The second petit four is a round of earl grey ice cream enrobed in a thin layer of chewy mochi. The ice cream is smooth, creamy, and has a distinctive floral flavour that is just divine.

Chocolate Fondant, Imperial Matcha Gelato ($18)
We also cave in an order the chocolate fondant. This is a rich, moist cake filled with a lava of molten chocolate. The side of bittersweet matcha gelato is cooling and helps offset the sweetness of the cake. 

If there's a restaurant that perfectly fuses the tradition and modernity of Japanese cuisine, it's Nobu. The food they serve up is nothing short of spectacular, which is perhaps why it's become such an internationally acclaimed name. Definitely one to put on your restaurant bucket list. 


Nobu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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  1. Hi! It looks extra! I'm just renovating the kitchen and
    I hope that my new rooms will let me cook such great things!

  2. Excellent blog with some mouth delicious food. Keep it up. we are waiting for such delicious blogs. Thanks.

    Bundoora Tavern


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