March 29, 2010

Nobu Melbourne

Nobu Melbourne
Riverside at Crown Melbourne
8 Whiteman StreetSouthbank,
03 9292 7879

A while ago we joined Agnes from Off the Spork and her husband Alastair and brother Pat for a lunch special at the famed Nobu at crown. For $57 you can enjoy an entrée, a main and a dessert, cant knock that value right?? For some reason I was never really drawn to Nobu, it just didn’t spike my interest and the inconsistent reviews didn’t help. But you know what they say right? Don’t knock it ‘till you try it!

I had one of those experiences where it seemed like everyone around me had ordered a better dish. Usually that happens to Daz, he’s always choosing badly or opting for steak, but surprisingly this time it was me! I’m not saying that my dishes were bad, I just had a horrible case of cow-ness – “the grass is always greener on the other side”.

So for entrée there was a mix of different dishes. Sashimi tacos with yellowtail tuna, salmon, lobster and crab. This looked amazing, the fish was fresh, served with I think a tomato salsa of some sort, the shells were crispy and the presentation was just right. I didn’t get to try this dish myself, but it looked pretty inviting.

fish tacos

Beef fillet tataki, onion ponzu and garlic chips. This was great, the ponzu was slightly acidic, but there there was just enough acidity to make your plate tingle and not overpower you and make you cringe. The crispyness of the garlic chips was interesting, great to dump on a piece of soft fillet and crunch through the textures. I really enjoyed this dish.

beef tataki

I have no idea what this dish is. I’m such a bad food blogger. If it was a subject at school, I’d get an F for not paying attention!! It looks so pretty though! *edit - Thanks to Pat I now know this is Tuna tataki with tosazu.

entree nobu

We also indulged in a pretty little bowl of miso soup.

miso soup

I was a little disappointed with the service to be honest. The wait staff were very friendly and attentive, but the dishes took way too long to come out, and they all came out at random times. A little annoying when there are 5 people sitting at the table. We asked why the dished were taking so long and they told us that there are 7 kitchens!! No wonder it took so long! They probably make different components of the dish in different places, then get someone to run all the components to the waiting plate, “Quick! Call kitchen number 5, we need garnish on this dish!!”

Mains were spectacular. Wagyu intercostal with seasonal vegetables and wasabi salsa. Oh my god! I had a bite of this and I was in heaven. I was about half a millisecond away from ordering this dish myself and I’m still kicking myself for not changing my ordered. It was fantastic, the beef was tender, and the smokiness of the grill was just so aromatic. I wish I was sitting on the other side of the table, instead I sat right next to Pat – slowly being tortured by the smells emanating from his bowl.

wagyu grill

Wagyu gyoza with goma ponzu. These were plump and juicy. Not the BEST dumplings I’ve ever had, but they were pretty darn good. I especially love the black sesame seeds on the dipping sauce giving a beautiful contrast. More of an aesthetic point rather than flavour, hey not everything is about how it tastes!!

wagyu gyoza

Tempura baby tiger prawn with creamy spicy sauce. This was my dish. Visually it was very pretty. It was actually quite tasty, the prawns were cooked well – with not even a hint of rubbery-ness. And the sauce was tangy, but sadly not spicy at all! By this stage I was suffering some serious food envy.

tempura prawns

Soft shell crab kara age. Awwwww, isn’t this just so beautiful? I didn’t get to try it, but I lovingly stared at it from across the table, its just so pretty. My tempura always turns out a little lacklustre, but this stuff just stood up on its own accord.

soft shell crab

Lastly we have. Beef sirloin steak served with teriyaki, wasabi pepper or anti-cucho sauce. I only had a bite of this dish and I’m pretty sure Agnes went with the Wasabi pepper sauce. Just brilliant, that dish was a stand out for me. I only had a bite of it, so can exactly judge it fairly, but from what I tasted it was pretty darn good. The wasabi was a great hit to the palette, and the beef was soft and yielding, just the way I like it. When I go back to Nobu, I’m definitely ordering 2 serves of this dish just for myself.

beef sirloin steak

no, not rabbit, its beef!

And now, for dessert! Green tea trifle mousse layered with vanilla brulee, almond and coconut meringue and milk chocolate ice cream, with lime and vanilla foam. I think the only thing I tried from this was the isomalt toffee on top…sorry but the toffee was not inspiring, don’t know about the rest of the dessert.

green tea trifle

Suntory whisky cappuccino layered with crunchy coffee cacao, coffee creme brulee, milk ice cream and Yamazaki whisky foam. When this arrived I thought Alastair had just ordered a coffee. I didn’t realise it was an actual dessert until the rest arrived and wondered why he hadn’t ordered anything. I think I mentioned earlier I had a terrible attention problem – case in point!

whisky cuppacino

I ordered the warm chocolate satandagi filled with pistachio and chocolate ganache in a Japanese bun and served with caramelised pistachios, berry coulis and almond ice cream. Lately I’m been having a bit of an obsession with big chocolate balls. They seem to be coming at me from everywhere! These were good, but sadly and surprisingly the soffle balls from Sung’s Kitchen were better.

Warm chocolate satandagi with almond ice cream Nobu Melbourne

warm chocolate satandagi from Nobu Melbourne

Lastly we have Tofu cheesecake with green tea crumble, berry compote and tuile, styling by Pat – I give credit where credit is due. The waiter was a real poser. Agnes and I had pulled out our camera’s happily snapping away when the waiter (with a weird accent) came rushing over insisting he would pour the compote over the top for that perfect Kodak moment. I had a slight giggle when the compote plop unceremoniously on top of the tofu instead of the sexy stream we were expecting. In the end I got the money shot.

tofu cheese cake

Just before dessert we noticed something very entertaining about the menu. The menu has an image stamped on the front, which is kinda like a magic eye. Depending on the way you turn the menu, the image could represent almost anything. We all had a go at trying to work out what it was. I suggested it was a very happy rhinosaurous, one of the boy suggested it was an inspector with a hat, what do you think it is? I’d love to know what it “supposed” to be. *edit - its supposed to be a chef preparing to cut a fish with his MASSIVE knife, still entertaining to see what wacky things you can see!*

nobu menu

Take a wander over to Agnes' blog to chick out the other set of rabbit ear!!


Amy @ said...

The beef tataki looks so yum. And the greentea dessert with the toffee shard looks right up my alley. I'm so jealous :(

sawks said...

look at the dark part of the logo - it's a silhouette of the chef holding a knife

Simon Food Favourites said...

perhaps your entree was the white fish sashimi. you can check the menu online. also i think the logo is a man's profile and his kitchen knife. the man's profile is on the left. :-)

April @ My Food Trail said...

I really enjoyed my experience at Nobu - I guess it depends on what you order and the waiter/ess you get! At least there were a number of you dining so you got to see/try some of the other dishes!

penny aka jeroxie said...

$57 is pretty good value for money. And I also not drawn to Nobu. Maybe one day.

Love that money shot!

Pat said...

The third pic is the tuna tataki with tosazu

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Too funny. I scrolled down and saw the chocolate balls, instantly thinking of soffle balls so I'm so glad they got you soffle ball nostalgic too. Ahh, soffle balls, so mysterious and enormous.

7 kitchens is their reason why the food takes so long? Surely they have a crazy number of kitchens to be more efficient, not less so?

Still, you've gotta love perky kara age :D

Agnes said...

HAHA you used the photo with the peace sign!

I was just thinking this morning about our lunch at Nobu and how I haven't written it up yet. Now I can just steal the details from your post. ;)

cloudcontrol said...

Hehehe I saw a rhino with a smaller-than-average horn in the logo.

See you at #ramenhunters!

Penny - do you reckon Nobu does ramen? :P Let's go!

Betty said...

oh wow those desserts look (and sound amazING!)

Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT) said...

$57 is great value for such top quality food! When I've been the service was excellent, so maybe it was an off-night (shame).

Jetsetting Joyce

Anonymous said...

nobu is shareing style restaurant, all the food SHOULD come to the centre of the table, one by one. Otherwice food takes for ever to come.

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